Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf!

Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf!

by The Klezmatics
     
 

The whole world is Jewish when you listen to the Klezmatics. From the aching shtetl melodies to tenderly arranged instrumental ballads, raucous Latin stomps to soulful boogie-woogie, and, of course, barnstorming freylekhs, bulgars, and Yiddish labor songs that make up their repertoire, it's hard to imagine a sound the veteran New York band's incapable of pulling off. …  See more details below

Overview

The whole world is Jewish when you listen to the Klezmatics. From the aching shtetl melodies to tenderly arranged instrumental ballads, raucous Latin stomps to soulful boogie-woogie, and, of course, barnstorming freylekhs, bulgars, and Yiddish labor songs that make up their repertoire, it's hard to imagine a sound the veteran New York band's incapable of pulling off. Rise Up! (Shteyt Oyf!) -- their first new album since the 1998 collaboration with Chava Alberstein, The Well -- comes after a long bout of tsuris that included the departure of fiddler Alicia Svigals, record label holdups, and the trauma of 9/11. But as the rebellious title indicates, the Klezmatics return absolutely energized. The elegiac "Klezmorimlekh Mayne Libinke," sets the stage, exhorting musicians to play with the warning "Oy, If had I ever thought of my last day / I wouldn't have frittered my time on earth away." The calls to dance, sing, and resist that follow grab life by the matzoh balls: "Kats Un Moyz" is an instrumental romp peppered with Latin piano and percussion; the eerie "Barikadn" recasts a song from the Vilna resistance of the '20s. Holly Near's bluesy "I Ain't Afraid," a duet with Adrienne Cooper, confesses fear only for "what you do in the name of your God" -- urging "don't let the letter of the law obscure the spirit of your love." Traditional numbers, from a rapturous "Yo Riboyn Olam" to a positively Zappa-esque "Makht Oyf," replete with rubber duckie, benefit from the band's eclectic approach. The only thing apparently in short supply are dance numbers, easily filled with the likes of the irrepressible "Tepel," which features a "faux Hasidic boys chorus" and showcases Loren Sklamberg's supple voice at its show-stoppingest. The rich musical backgrounds of the Klezmatics -- trumpeter Frank London, reedsman Matt Darriau, percussionist David Licht, bassist Paul Morrissett, and fiddler Lisa Gutkin -- bring elements from jazz, salsa, and Celtic music to the table, creating Jewish music with a truly universal appeal. Here's hoping many more will heed the call to Rise Up!

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
One thing about the Klezmatics, they're not afraid of a little controversy with their klezmer music. Here they stir the ashes a couple of times, with an English-Yiddish cover of Holly Near's "I Ain't Afraid" that comes twice on the disc, and points out the pitfalls of what people do in the name of religion, and also in "Loshn-Koydesh," an unusual tale of a Hebrew lesson with an appropriately seductive melody to match the words. This time around the emphasis is most definitely on songs, rather than instrumentals, and for the most part they keep their fire quite restrained, rarely letting the instrumental work fly into the stratosphere as they have in the past. Where they do, on "Katz Un Moyz," for example, the results are spectacular, a reminder of how good players like Steven Greenman and Matt Darriau truly are. But Lorin Sklamberg has rarely sounded better singing with the band, as he proves on "Makht Oyf." That said, the annoying chorus of children on "Tepel" overdoes what could be a pleasantly kitschy piece, and highlights the heavy production used on the record, generally to its benefit, but sometimes too heavy-handed. They might be more serious and focused this time around, abandoning the free joy of the past, but they're still damn good.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2003
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661319721
catalogNumber:
613197

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Klezmorimlekh Mayne Libinke (Beloved Klezmorim, My Dear Ones)
  2. Kats un Moyz (Cat and Mouse)  - Steven Greenman
  3. Loshn-Koydesh (Holy Tongues)
  4. Tepel  - Steven Greenman
  5. I Ain't Afraid  - Adrienne Cooper
  6. Di Gayster (Ghost)
  7. Yo Riboyn Olam (God, Master of This Universe)  - Aaron Alexander
  8. Bulgars No. 2 (Tantsn un Shpringen)
  9. Barikada (Barricades)
  10. Davenen (Prayer)  - Rob Schwimmer
  11. St. John's Nign
  12. Hevl Iz Havolim (Vanity Is Vanities)  - Rob Schwimmer
  13. Makht Oyf (Open Up)
  14. Perets-Tants
  15. I Ain't Afraid  - Rob Schwimmer

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Klezmatics   Primary Artist
Matt Darriau   Clarinet,Percussion,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Vocals,kaval
Lisa Gutkin   Violin,Conductor,Vocals,Baritone Violin
David Licht   Percussion,Drums
Frank London   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Trumpet,Cornet,Flugelhorn,Alto Horn,Keyboards,Vocals
Paul Morrissett   Fiddle,Piano,Violin,Electric Bass,Cymbals,Alto Horn,Baritone Horn,Vocals,Hurdy-Gurdy,Acoustic Bass
Lorin Sklamberg   Piano,Accordion,Vocals,Hi String

Technical Credits

Ben Wisch   Producer,Engineer
Scott Hull   Mastering
Michael Wex   translation
Ellen Kushner   Liner Notes

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