Moving klezmer for modern times
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 07/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These veteran pioneers of the modern klezmer revival open their new album up with a mad, headlong rush into jazzy terrain, letting you know right off the bat that this ain't your grandfather's klezmer music, not by a longshot. Shifting effortlessly on "Kats Un Moyz (Cat And Mouse)" from free jazz into fusion, then to Miles Davis-style cool and salsa-inflected Latin dance riffs (all in the same song!), the Klezmatics start out with a dazzling musical display... This same inventive playfulness is in evidence throughout the rest of the album, although from then on they mainly stick to more standard-sounding Jewish musical themes. Still, playing a rubber squeek toy in the middle of a di-di-di Yiddish refrain ("Makht Oyf") and covering Holly Near's "I Ain't Afraid" shows an adventurous spirit that keeps this music from getting stale or static. Fans of the genre should be thrilled to hear the 'matics back in action, and their soulful social/political reflections (offered, in part, as a response to the chaos of September 11th, 2001...) will be as much salve for the soul as their much-welcome sense of humor. Recommended!"
Featuring volatile and reverberating lyrics
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 07/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another collaborative effort of The Klezmatics, Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf! is an audio CD embracing the Yiddish tradition of Klezmer music, featuring volatile and reverberating lyrics, and showcasing samples from a 1948 Jewish archive, in honor of, and respect for, those who resisted Nazi destruction and murder during World War II. An enthusiastic celebration and reinventing of grand and quite distinctive musical tradition, Rise Up! Sheteyt Oyf! presents fifteen outstanding recordings and would make a welcome and appreciated addition to any personal music library."
Rise up with the Klezmatics!
Alan A. Wartenberg | New England | 08/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful album, although I don't think among their best. It is all worth it for the "I ain't afraid" title, both the first one in both Yiddish and English and the subsequent English recapitulation. I am so in love with it that I am going to present it to our Synagogue choir, of which I am a member, after the High Holydays. I would love to see it presented in Synagogues, Churches and Mosques, and everywhere people of good will, religious or not, are interested in peace and understanding."