Bohemian Nights is Ernie Gruner and Phil Carroll - active musicians in the multicultural, jazz and folk scenes of Melbourne, Australia. They regularly perform at festivals around Australia, as a duo and with other artists. Ernie specialises in East European Jewish music (Klezmer). Phil specialises in Arabic and Turkish music. Both travelled overseas to pursue these passions. Ernie offers workshops on klezmer and nigun, also fiddle lessons, and Phil gives workshops on Middle Eastern music and performs school shows on Italian music.
As Bohemian Nights, Ernie and Phil have a busy schedule performing for corporate functions, intimate concerts, festivals, theatre, weddings, parties, dances and other celebrations. Their wide-ranging repertoire includes French, Italian, Hungarian, Gypsy Swing, Jewish, Middle-Eastern and Russian music.
Past performances include Festivals (National Folk, National Multicultural, Albany, Wellington Folk (NZ), Christchurch Jazz (NZ), Port Fairy Literary, Melbourne Food and Wine), Concerts (Wyreena Arts Centre, fortyfivedownstairs), Hotels and clubs (Sofitel, RACV), residencies (Budapest Restaurant, Borsh, Vodka & Tears) and theatre collaborations (Russian Soup, Emma Celebrazione).
Outside Bohemian Nights they also play bush, celtic, jazz and latin music. Phil and Ernie perform together in:
KLEZMERITIS – infectious and soulful Eastern European Jewish music - CD available
YALLA! – exciting and traditional Middle-Eastern music and dance – CD available
FLIRTING MAZURKAS – Bohemian Nights plus singer/guitarist Jen Hawley
They’ve also recorded with Klezmeritis and Kavisha Mazzella on award winning Boite produced Fig Tree CD
Phil appears in Alwan, Tango Noir, Minotaur’s Lament.
Ernie appears in Jugularity, Klezmer Trio, Soleluna, Melbourne Playback Theatre.
CD review by John Williams (published in Trad & Now, February 2011)
One of the highlights at the 2010 National for me was the live performance of Bohemian Nights (Ernie Gruner and Phil Carroll).
Both men have a lot of experience in bands such as Klezmeritis and their live performance was extremely entertaining, as you would expect from two talented musicians with a long performing history.
Listening to this CD brought back some of those memories and I found it a most enjoyable experience.
I did however miss their entertaining patter between songs which you enjoy in live performance.
The tunes on the CD cover Russian Gypsy, Romanian Gypsy, Gypsy Swing, Klezmer, French, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Argentinian, Macedonian, Arabic, Turkish and Jazz, which shows the wide interests and versatility of these fine musicians.
It also means there is something for everybody who likes violin, mandolin and accordion music.
Both men sing on several of the tracks, which adds to the enjoyment and breaks up the strong instrumental influence.
The medley ‘Gloomy Sunday Czardas/The Basso’ starts off slowly and quickly builds, slows and builds again, to create a real toe tapper.
I particularly enjoyed the French and Italian tunes, but I guess that is my background.
The Greek tracks ‘Hasapiko’ and ‘Hasapaserviko’ took me back to Greece where I was lucky enough to spend some time a couple of years ago.
The Italian medley ’L’Uva Fragolina, ‘Reginella Campagnola’ and ‘Marina’ did the same for me, only in Italy. I loved the singing in that medley, it captured the spirit of Italy.
‘Les Champs Elysees’ made you think you could be in a café on that famous Paris thoroughfare. The other French medley, ‘Reine de Musette / Amelia / Mademoiselle de Paris’ did the same.
The Turkish track, ‘ Canakkale Icinde’ was particularly haunting and quite beautiful to listen to.
I enjoyed all the tracks.
The CD made for very easy listening and I found it hard to stop toe tapping in a number of songs.
That makes for a great musical experience.
If you have caught a performance of Bohemian Nights you may already have this CD.
If you want to relive one of their concerts you could do a lot worse than purchase this CD.
I can recommend it.