In 1999, Gothart released Adio Querida, the perfect album of East European folk music. The follow-up was bound to be less impressive. Cabaret surely isn't a bad record, but it falls short of its predecessor's intensity. The group has gone from quintet to sextet on paper, but bassist Karel Zich already appeared as a guest on the previous CD. The scope of music has been widened to include Greek, Romanian, and Albanian tunes. The shift from historical music to party trad is pushed further as Gothart trades emotion for energy. In the "Intro," someone pours himself a drink, lights up a cigar, sits back, and turns on the radio (which, incidentally, plays a snippet from Adio Querida's "Jovano, Jovanke"). Honestly, that's the last thing you'll want to do when listening to this record. Your feet won't let you rest comfortably. After this aural setup, the group storms into a Macedonian dance tune, "Tresenitsa," and from that moment on, the pace is set. There are more instrumental pieces, and one misses the plaintive three-women vocal parts of Sephardic songs, cruelly absent from this album. It's all a question of taste: Adio Querida mostly talked to the soul, Cabaret to the legs. But, by favoring party tunes, the group loses part of its distinctive character to sound like another klezmer/Balkan outfit. It's still a satisfying production and once again all the songs are interpreted in their language of origin (even the Greek ones), with translations in Czech and English provided in the booklet.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture