She'koyokh Klezmer Ensemble

Buskers' Ballroom

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

One of Britain's best and most versatile klezmer bands, She'koyokh Klezmer are back with another musical odyssey around the shtetls and dancefloors of many countries. From the Yiddish square dance of "Russian Shers" to the Sephardic beauty of "Los Bilbilicos" and the brass-heavy "Sher from Sokiriani," they're eloquent in every klezmer style, playing demanding music with flow and dexterity. Whether instrumentals or songs, there's real virtuosity here. Whether it's music for dancing or the classic song "Üsküdar," with roots in the Balkans and Turkey, there's true grace to the sound. The band can be wonderfully sinuous, and the fiddle and clarinet players are real stars. But signaling them out too much would be unfair to the others, who can match them step for step. They also step well outside the traditional lineup, eschewing accordion in favor of mandolin and bouzouki (doubling with guitar). That could leave the sound more brittle, but that's not really the case with the expert arranging here. A fine klezmer album that deserves your attention.

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