From

the

    Rounder Collection

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    " REMBETICA " 

# Roun 1079 CD

&

 " MARKOS ( Bouzouke Pioneer ) VAMVAKAKIS "

# Roun 1139 CD

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Perhaps some of the finest Archival Rebetic documents available "Rembetica" & "Markos Vamvakaris Bouzouke Pioneer", are just two of the several Rebetiko recordings currently offered by the prestigious and highly respected Rounder label. The Rounder group  (which in reality is actually a consortium of labels) offers what has to be one of the most extensive collections of authentic Folk and Ethnic music currently available in the USA.  This is the same company that also produces the  highly regarded collection of "vernacular" music that was recorded over a 60 year period by famed Ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. All remastered in 20 bit Digital Stereo sound.  Rounder is one of a handful of companies where the marriage of technology and musicianship really is taken as a serious and important priority. Many of the CD's they produce end up as genuine collectors items.  The two CD's shown above may fall into that rarefied category. These are among the best archival Rebetiko documents you will ever hear. Rounder has done their usual excellent and thorough job of retrieving just about every bit of spectral clarity technologically possible at the point in time they were remastered and the results are laudable.  Just about everything we mentioned in our review of the Prof.  Martin Shwartz CD titled "Greek Oriental Rebetika", is also true for these Vintage recordings. So again (at the risk of sounding redundant), if one is the owner of even a halfway respectable four way Digital surround sound system or ambience extraction devise, the palatable presence that can be coaxed out of some of these tracks, can be surprising in their ability to create the kind of sonic illusion, that transports the listener to that proverbial other place in time. Furthermore the liner notes are also the quality equivalent of the Martin Shwartz offering. They were written by Charles Howard & Dick Spotwood and include English translations for the individual lyrics as well as including a few brief facts regarding the specific recording artist. All and all a very interesting and informative package. Click on the CD's above to go to the Rounder site for each CD, where you will be able to obtain additional CD specific information  regarding each recording as well as Rounder's entire outstanding collection.