In 1960s Communist Romania, violinist Ion Petre Stoican was struggling to establish himself in the Bucharest wedding market, then dominated by the influential 'Lautari' musicians of the area. Everything changed one day when he reported a suspicious-looking person to his local authorities.
The person turned out to be a highly sought-after spy. When the Romanian government offered to award Stoican with a house, he countered with a different request: to record an album with the state-operated label, Electrecord.
What emerged was a classic album of Roma songs performed by an all-star band from the Lautari scene of the 60's and 70's, now available on CD. The album's executive producer, Henry Ernst, says Stoican and his record are both special.