Wildly skipping along the narrow gap between traditional klezmer and experimental jazz, the Ann Arbor, MI-based group Into the Freylakh blasts through radically updated traditional klezmer tunes and inventive traditionally minded originals. Loosely organized around clarinetist Bryan Pardo, Into the Freylakh augments the time-honored structures of conventional Jewish music with bop jazz drumming and some serious Sketches of Spain-era Miles trumpet stylings courtesy of Tal Kopstein. These seemingly disparate elements gel tightly in bright instrumentals like "Hot Sabra" and the frenzied "Spanakopita," while vocal numbers like the whirling "Der Rebbe Elimelech" and the heartbreaking "Ma Navu" are highlighted by the sparkling soprano of Jennifer Goltz. Recorded live in the studio, the album has a very warm, natural feel, reflected in both the frenzied celebration of "Grichester Tantz" and "Oyfn Pripetchok," the cradling lullaby that closes out the album. The members of Into the Freylakh keep one eye looking behind them while their music pushes them ever forward; the result is truly an amalgam of everything that has come before it, and a bright glimpse into what could be the future of klezmer.
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AllMusic Review by Zac Johnson