Old Roots New World

Old Roots New World

by Maxwell Street Klezmer BandMaxwell Street Klezmer Band


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Almost anything one writes about klezmer music sounds a bit serious. Originating from Eastern Europe, klezmer, or Jewish folk music, features clarinet and fiddle, but can also include tuba, trumpet, saxophone, flute, piano, percussion, and vocals. This information, however, fails to convey how much fun a group like the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band can be. Eclectic and occasionally outrageous, the 17-member band is bursting at the buttons with intensity. With bouncy instrumentals like "A Lively Honga" and happy vocals like "Play, Fiddle, Play/Yidl With the Fiddle," Old Roots New World reminds one of a cross between John Philip Sousa and cabaret. Kimber Leigh Nussbaum handles most of the vocals and her theatrical style on pieces like "Congratulations, Bride and Groom" captures the joyful spirit of a wedding celebration. Violinist Alex Koffman has done a fine job of providing lively arrangements for many of these songs and instrumentals, which must have been quite a task with all the musicians involved. The band does have a serious side, though it's easy to overlook it amidst so much excitement. A quiet, reflective "Leah's Saraband" crosses folk and classical traditions, while the lyric of "Springtime" recalls the Holocaust and how one woman attempts to continue with her life after the murder of her husband. The album ends with the ambitious "Klezmer Rhapsody for Violin," a 17-minute instrumental with multiple phases ranging from ecstatic to thoughtful. With Old Roots New World, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band deliver an album that captures the band's abundant energy and versatility.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/27/2002
Label: Shanachie
UPC: 0016351670823
catalogNumber: 67008
Rank: 95938


  1. Lebedike Honga (A Lively Honga)
  2. Shpil Di Fidl, Shpil/Yidl Mitn Fidl (Play Fiddle, Play/Yidl With ...)
  3. Leah's Saraband
  4. Chusn Kalleh Mazl Tov (Congratulations, Bride and Groom)
  5. Friling (Spring)
  6. Zol Zayn Gelebt (Live to Enjoy!)
  7. Oy, Abram
  8. Galitzianer vs. Litvak (The Polish Jew vs. The Lithuanian Jew)
  9. Abi Gezunt (Good Health Is All That Counts)
  10. Undzer Toyrele (Our Beloved Torah)
  11. Chiribim
  12. Yoshke/Tanz, Yidelekh (Yoshke/Dance on, Jewish People)
  13. Klezmer Rhapsody for Violin

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band   Primary Artist
Jim Cox   String Bass
Sam Margolis   Trombone
Ivo Braun   Trumpet
Jeff Jeziorski   Clarinet
Alex Koffman   Violin,Vocals,Soloist
Lori Lippitz   Vocals
Shelley Yoelin   Clarinet,Flute,Saxophone
Ralph Wilder   Clarinet,Conductor
Bibi Marcell   Vocals
David Rothstein   String Bass
Kimber Leigh Nussbaum   Vocals
Gail Mangurten   Piano

Technical Credits

Martin Stebbing   Engineer
Yuri Bokov   Arranger
Alex Koffman   Arranger,Producer,Contributor,Art Direction
Lori Lippitz   Producer,Liner Notes
Abe Schwartz   Composer
Josj Lopatin   Engineer

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