Genoa’s ORCHESTRA BAILAM are back with a new CD that’s full of surprises, as rich in novelty as it is in rock-solid tradition. Active since 1989 (itself no mean achievement) the group came together through a series of concerts, encoounters and collaborations, and their new CD Non occidentalizzarti features a repertoire that is as much the fruit of their passion for the music of the balcans as of their own compositional efforts. After a number of upheavals the group’s current lineup comprises Franco Minelli (chitarra, 6 and 8-string bouzouky, oud, vocals), Edmondo Romano (soprano and alto sax soprano, clarinet, flutes), Roberto Piga (violin), Laca Montagliani (accordion), Luciano Ventriglia (drums, derbouka, percussion), Riccardo Barbera (double bass) but on the CD they are joined by a number of guest musicians. The sheer joy they take in music making is clear from Non occidentalizzarti ‘s very first track Mussakà, the work of Franco Minelli. Beautifully played and arranged, the CD draws on a well of folk song from Macedonia, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria with particular attention to the Yiddish tradition..The general atmosphere is one of a festive encounter between different cultures whose rhythms and melodies have for centuries been blown about and mixed by Mediterranean winds. From kletzmer to rebetiko, Balcan fanfares to citations from Arabic music, Non occidentalizzarti features a nice variety of moods and sensations, often connected by sampled radio broadcasts and ironic cabaret-style curtain calls, such as the one which ushers in the album’s title track. On this CD ORCHESTRA BAILAM show once their casual mastery in steering a course through the currents of the Mediterranean and, more importantly, chart some new routes of their own in the process.