In his introductory note to this CD, Itzhak Perlman informs us that, more than anything else he has recorded, this is truly his own music–"what you might hear if you came to my house and I decided to jam with some friends." And jam he does–with some very talented friends indeed. Klezmer music, which combines the folk and religious music of Yiddish-speaking cultures with various musical traditions of countries such as Russia, Turkey, and Greece, is unusual territory for a major label and a superstar artist, but here the combination works perfectly.
Klezmer, traditional Eastern European Jewish music, is said to have originated in the city of Odessa (Ukraine). The klezmorim were professional (and usually poor) musicians, who would travel through villages entertaining at festive occasions such as weddings and social events. The group Odessa specializes in klezmer music enriched by non-Jewish influences: Greek, Ottoman, Gypsy, and Macedonian.
This long-awaited third CD by the legendary New Klezmer Trio is pure pleasure. Their first two CDs, released in 1990 and 1995 respectively have long been Tzadik favorites, combining elements of jazz and improvisation with the Jewish tradition in ways both thoughtful and surprising. This is a masterful new recording by one of the classic bands in the New Jewish Renaissance. Naftule Brandwein via Jimmy Giuffre.
Formed in 1997, The Cracow Klezmer Band is a phenomena. Through their spectacular combination of impeccable musicianship, imaginative arrangements and passionate performances they have been universally acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, developing into one of the most successful and exciting acoustic groups in the world. Here they are joined by the lush sound of strings, as Bester turns his prodigious arranging skills to eight new songs from Zorn’s fabulous and varied Book of Angels. Also featuring the Cracow String Quartet this is their best CD to date.
BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
Though the label "Klezmer" may indicate a certain direction, the music of Kroke is not necessarily linked to any of the styles nowadays connected with this concept. Using traditional material as the foundations on which to build ingenuous arrangements and improvisations, exploiting their previous experience, transmitting the profundity of man’s feelings and nature, Kroke creates new, unique compositions as well as a sound which is thus far unheard in Jewish music.