Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Orientalish Travels: Miserlou with the Ebene Quartet

The Ebene Quartet, picture from the BSO website.
On August 17, I went to the Boston Symphony Orchestra's lush summer site, Tanglewood, to see the young group from France, the Ebene Quartet. The last set, "Fictions," contained  a surprise for me.  The group played a beautiful version of "Miserlou," one of the first songs I danced to with Nick Samra at the Middle East Cafe in Cambridge, MA in the 90s.  Their version, which is available on I-tunes and worth picking up, made me curious about the song's history.  A quick scan on Wikipedia and I learned the song is documented as an early 20th century folk song, a rembetika from Greece that spawned versions in various folkloric traditions before it's foray into rock fame in the 1960s and into the belly dance clubs it went.  Interestingly random how some songs stick.

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