Klezmer Conservatory Band


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The Klezmer Conservatory Band were one of the earliest groups in the klezmer revival movement, and this album is one of the earliest from them. The album features slightly unconventional neo-klezmer in some ways, occasionally jaunting into New Orleans jazz territory. On the purely musical end, one can find here some exceptional vocals from Judy Bressler, some nice clarinet work from jazz giant Don Byron, and some early stuff from pre-Klezmatics, pre-Hasidic New Wave Frank London on cornet. The music tends to sit on the fence between traditional klezmer and the neo-klezmer embraced by new groups such as the Klezmatics and the Klezmonauts. As to enjoyability, the music stands well. It lopes along from time to time, but generally bounces back into high-energy instrumental work soon after. This sitting on the fence may prove to be the undoing of this album overall. For someone yearning for traditional klezmer, albums containing work from Abe Schwartz or Dave Tarras might be better. For those wishing for examples of full-fledged neo-klezmer, albums from the Klezmonauts, the Klezmatics, Knitting Factory releases, or even newer albums from the Klezmer Conservatory Band (such as Jumpin' Night in the Garden of Eden) might be better suited. Either way, this album stands the middle ground, which might not be the best position for klezmer listeners.

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