Eugene Weekly reviews Live at Luna:
"Eugene's favorite world music collective scores again with a scintillating survey of dance music with roots in Turkey, Israel, Egypt and nearby regions. It's best encountered in close proximity to bouncing bellies, but the CD-only experience is one of the most entrancing I heard in 2006." --Brett Campbell, 12/21/06, "Stocking Stuffers from Planet Eugene," Music Section, pg. 33
A Treasury of American Cabaret Style Music--
Live at Luna with Americanistan
by Jeanine Ethridge
(Originally published in Jareeda Magazine,
Jan/Feb 2007, used by permission)
Americanistan's latest CD, Live at Luna, is a collection of classic belly dance music. For anyone who loves vintage middle eastern dance music, this CD is a delight. Like the popular internet program Radio Bastet, which serves up a delicious mix of old-style belly dance music on the web, Live at Luna offers a wide range of styles, both vocal and instrumental. So many great old songs, like "Miserlou," "Mustapha" and "Rompi Rompi," sung with great feeling by vocalist Anna Armaiti. So many great instrumentals like "Nassam Alayna" and "Behlembeek." So many different styles, from Gypsy clarinet on "Turkish Coffee" to the haunting ney flute of "Sahara." So many moods, from upbeat drum solos to the slow, heartfelt songs "Bir Demet" and "Dere."
There are two complete bellydance routines included on the CD. Each routine includes an entrance piece, a slow piece, drum solo, and exit piece. Both routines have an Arabic flavor, being organized around "Nassam Alayna" and "Behlembeek," respectively. There are also several Turkish tunes and folk dance numbers. And there are original pieces composed by band members in the spirit of classic belly dance music.
Though it was recorded live, there is minimal crowd noise and the sound quality is excellent.
With twenty tracks, this CD is a treasure trove, especially for the cabaret or Vintage American style dancer. It also has several pieces that are beloved by the folk dance community. And it's just plain wonderful for listening or practicing when you are in the mood for some good old-fashioned belly dance music.
(About the author: Jeanine Ethridge is a long-time belly dance enthusiast. She has been attending and photographing shows in the Eugene area since 1995. She is an artist and the mother of a teenaged son.)
"I absolutely LOVE the new CD! It is amazing!! I used it in class tonight and everybody really enjoyed it." --Julie W., teacher, performer and troupe director, Sweet Home, OR