Music Reviews
New Orleans Klezmer All Stars

New Orleans Klezmer All Stars

Tipish

New Orleans: a town where anything can happen, and it usually does. I’ve covered klezmer music a few times over the years, and it always brings a smile to my ears. Klezmer is a type of Yiddish folk music that relies on simple melodies, musical reminiscences about the past, and a deep pile of complex musical notes. It’s typically played at weddings, but you can enjoy it if you are single, married for forty years, or post-divorce. It’s very adaptable. If you’re familiar with the German polka sound, you’re in the klezmer ballpark, except for some different instruments, like the “cimbalom.” Sometimes klezmer is danceable, with an oompah backdrop. Other times, it’s closer to free-form jazz with soulful and melancholy notes. Odd keys and a mesmerizing undercurrent of beats complete the vibe. It’s typically not a dance rhythm, not always, unless you are some sort of Samurai juggler.

But enough lecture. Let’s Hora! The title track, “Tipish,” bounces along with a complex drum routine and a squeaky clarinet, occasional solos, and odd time sequences. Later on, we stumble across the “Detox Hora.” The ragged rhythms make you feel hungover, and the squeak of the clarinet reminds you about the AA meeting tonight. It’s free-form jazz at its hangover-inducing best, rolling and crying wagged on by an overactive drummer. Lastly, I’ll point out the closer “Reb Levik’s Niggun Stereo.” The call and response bubbles over a happy clarinet battle that makes you want to dance. Tired of the same old electronica on your playlist? Dial these guys in &mdash: it will open your 21st Century eyelids. I could go on, but now it’s your assignment to find this disc and hear it for yourself.

New Orleans Klezmer All Stars


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