Various Artists

Klezfest

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A collection of the new directions in klezmer taken during and since its revival, the music of Klezfest is all in a semi-traditional form essentially, but with both nods to the past and strong looks to the future. The New York base is represented quite well, with the Klezmatics and Frank London's projects carrying the flag and introducing some heavy jazz and avant-garde into the picture. Former bluegrasser Andy Statman performs an old Dave Tarras number with some astounding precision, and the rest of America's klezmer revival is set out by the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Frejlechs, and Brave Old World. There's an almost Latin form taken by the Canadians From Both Ends of the Earth, and the German group Jontef harks back to the old stetls. The Swedish Tummel puts out a joyous piece, and the multinational Gregori Schecter performs a slower number on the clarinet that moves into a syncopated run of Romanian and Russian dance music. The album finishes on the venerable Giora Feidman and a scorching clarinet solo in "Oyf Eybik Unser Leben." It's a nice romp through the world of the klezmer revival, with a number of interesting steps along the way. Pick it up for a listen to what's both new and semi-new.

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