A Danish/Swedish band with no deep Jewish roots playing klezmer? Well, why not, especially when it's done as well as Tummel does on Klezmer. The band serves notice that it's not abiding by tradition on the opener, "Mazltov Cocktail," where agile playing leads into feedback and guitar and tuba solos. It's heady stuff, demanding on the musicians, but easy on the ears, with odd time signatures negotiated easily, and sometimes a frequent shift of moods, as on "Baba Ganoush Cocktail" with its Middle Eastern spice, and some fiendish clarinet playing, plus a wonderful sax break and some inventive bouzouki work. This klezmer is very much in-your-face, with all the energy of punk, and some of its abrasive quality to offer the music an edge. Not that everything is wild and furious. "Doina for Restless Souls," for example, is a beautifully controlled, soothing clarinet solo. But Tummel are very happy letting the party roar, and "All Right, Mister!" is about as funky as klezmer can get. Make no mistake; this is a band that feels the music in their bones, and plays it with passion and plenty of fire, letting it all rip on the closing "Bulgar Buffet," with its humorous barnyard noises to start proceedings, then giving themselves a sweaty workout. It's great stuff, a klezmer album that deserves attention, better than most to come out of the revival.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson