This second collection by the ubiquitous Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars is even more joyous and raucous than the first. In addition to his own band, which includes the seminal talents of Matt Darriau, Susan Sandler, Mark Rubin, Matt Moran, and David Harris, among others, London has also collaborated with the Boban Markovic Orkestar and Hasaballah Brass Band to correct the errors of history -- see Dr. R.A. Bronner's liner notes for an explanation. Here are Jews, Romanies, and Moors all playing music together from all three traditions, all of them klezmer. While all three bands never play simultaneously, often two of them do, culling material from the sacred and profane klezmer traditions of all three ensembles. The harmonic possibilities and occurrences when two of these bands play together create interesting cross-sections of East and West and tonal invention -- as well as humorous and wholly entertaining melodies -- that are remarkable in their complexity, density, and depth. The variants of mystical musics played here are astonishing, all of them blending into a single golden web, where cultural differences are played out in cadences, mystical elocutions, and great respect. This is like New Orleans brass bands going to synagogue, or perhaps this is some ancient root of New Orleans music, period. Heresy you say? Sorry, you don't get to make that claim until you hear this. This is music that not only erases lines of race, class, and culture, but it also creates new conspiracy theories as to how it was all separated in the first place. The joy here is deep, the investigation deeper, and the cosmic well this music comes from -- as executed in London's vision -- is virtually bottomless. This is one of the most essential recordings of 2002 in any genre.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
feat: Frank London