Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band

Agada

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Eschewing the emotional peaks and bombastics of their first disc, the Bulgars reshape klezmer into the ultimate expression of cool. The opening cut, "Cooking Bulgar(s)" diddles with the past as tongue progressively bores through cheek and a seemingly dated arrangement dissolves into a fierce romp that flirts with a tango then a salsa. Strongest case for the Yiddish blues as a viable piece of the future is made on the rollicking "High Noon in Volgograd," where piano and pulsing clarinets beat out a rhythm of traffic snarls, honking horns, and hurrying feet, dumping the complexity of big-city life on a small-town atmosphere that at first seems too rarefied to contain the change. But sure enough the village dance is reborn as urban knot.

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