Another loss to the world of music, Serbian gypsy icon Šaban Bajramović died a couple of months ago, although his death not suprisingly passed by most of the British media, so I only just found out. Bajramović was an extraordinary, larger than life figure, and a great vocalist.
His style drew on deep sources in Balkan Roma song, but blended it with jazz and Latin. Although less well known, he is in the same league as Khaled, Camarón de la Isla or Ibrahim Ferrer.
Here, on a lovely YouTube video, is him singing a salsa song about emmigration to America. Here, another nice video, is him in his late, Buena Vista mode, doing a kind of gyspy swing number. Here is his most well-known song, "Djelem, Djelem", live with Josipa Lisac, the great Croatian singer. Here he is in party mode with Esma, from Macedonia, one of the most extraordinary vocalists ever.
See also Punch the Sun, Rummage Through the Crevices. Listen to more at last.fm.
Previous: Balkan Brass, Kosovo travelogue.