Zev Feldman

Jewish Klezmer Music

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Sparsely droning and arcing through 12 songs, Zev Feldman and Andy Statman swirl around each other on Jewish Klezmer Music. Originally recorded and released in 1979 and now available on CD through Shanachie, these songs are steeped in tradition and spark with the passionate fervor that clarinetist Statman is famous for. While today the instrumentation seems unusual, the paired clarinet and European hammer dulcimer (called the cymbalom) were long the chief instruments in klezmer music. Feldman's cymbalom intricately traces the melodies of Jewish dance and wedding celebrations, backed occasionally with bowed bass and mandolin, and usually chased by Statman's whirling clarinet. Ranging from the quietly introspective Old World "Gypsy Hora and Sirba" to the raucous and freewheeling "A Galitsanier Tantsel," the songs resonate with haunting authenticity, as if they are alternately wafting out of an ancient street in a gray Eastern European village or surrounding a colorful Jewish ceremony centuries ago.

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