Magazine article New Internationalist

[Various Artists. Rough Guide to Klezmer]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Various Artists. Rough Guide to Klezmer]

Article excerpt

by Various (RGNET 1047 CD)

It's still klezmer but from the first few bars of 'Fun Tashlikh' played by the Klezmatics, it's clear that this 18-track compilation is approaching the music from a very different direction. Whereas Khevrisa has a scholarly touch, the Rough Guides' disc picks up klezmer in all its US-based history and mutation. And not just America. The Klezmatics' track - taken from their album Rhythm and Jews - blends Arabic beats and a bit of ululating in with their wild violins and squawking clarinet. It's immediately balanced by the crazy energy of the next track, a version of the same tune by the great clarinettist Naftule Brandwein who dominated the scene from the 1920s and turned the music towards a jazzy overlap that's still heard today. That's the way this album works: by threading modern klezmer (Brave Old World, the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, David Krakauer Trio) with the old (Harry Kandel, Brandwein and the Balkan rootsiness of Di Naye Kapelye), the sense of both history and a future for the music is created. …

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