Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars

Carnival Conspiracy: In the Marketplace All Is Subterfuge

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There are some genres of music that can't help but brighten one's day or put a grin on one's face. And Frank London has taken the traditional klezmer style and inserted a whole bundle of oomph and verve into it once again. Rarely would music result in a joyous creation of a feverish Hasidic mosh pit, but the exuberance found on the leadoff track, "In Your Garden Twenty Fecund Fruit Trees," sets the standard for the next near hour of gear-shifting klezmer, with London letting the frantic tempo lead as he tries his best to keep up with dazzling solo work. "Oh Agony, You Are So Sweet Like Sugar I Must to Eat You Up" is a far slower, plodding track that ambles along featuring vocalist Lorin Sklamberg. London always gets the most out of himself and his stellar supporting cast, making "Another Glass of Wine to Give Succor to My Ailing Existence" ooze as much Latin as it does klezmer thanks to his innovative arrangements. It also has a certain "oom pah pah" polka flavor to it. Fans of Boban Markovic would enjoy the rather mid-tempo, waltz-like air emanating from "Midnight Banda Judia." As it continues, the track seems it would be just as appropriate at Germany's Oktoberfest. London nails the toe-tapping "In the Marketplace All Is Subterfuge (Podolye, Podolye)," which is as frantic as the opener and perfect for some wild chase scene out of the "Pink Panther" film collection. Another joyful, life-affirming romp occurs during "Pantagruel, Shiker Hindert Prozent," which has a touch of what sounds like a Brazilian carnival tint to it. Only during "A Time of Desire (Curha Mix)" does the album lose just a hint of its luster, sounding not quite like filler but not as fantastic as the previous seven numbers. London mixes both styles and tempos perfectly, particularly on the pretty jazz intro to "Our Ancestors Forty Thousand Years Wide," coming across as a lament to some extent with a large backing chorus supporting him. And somehow he blends a light Cajun or zydeco portion with a hip-hop tempo for "Out of What?" for an eclectic and inspiring fusion. The finale is the lengthy "Borracho #1 the Cobbles in the Street Moan for You," which is a mournful, dirge-like coda. While not ending on a high note, London has again created a glorious collage of uplifting sound.

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