LITTLE BLACKBIRD features 74 minutes of exciting traditional fiddling by Sandra Layman. The 35 tracks range from Balkan dances in jagged rhythms, to poignant Jewish and Romanian doinas, to rarely-heard klezmer and Asia-Minor Greek dances, to Romanian and Hungarian Gypsy medleys, and more.
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS OF "LITTLE BLACKBIRD":
"Fans of Klezmer, Greek, Romanian and Eastern European music in general will find Sandra Layman's LITTLE BLACKBIRD unique...If it's a representative, accessible Eastern European folk violin compilation you seek, make it LITTLE BLACKBIRD."
- WorldDiscoveries.net, November 2004
"...beautiful music played by a wonderful musician."
- Stacy Phillips, Fiddler Magazine, Summer 2002 issue
"It is exhilarating to discover an artist and music that unexpectedly captivate you... extraordinary... Layman's playing and her music are riveting and moving."
- Allen Price, Victory Music Review, June 2002 issue
"This may be the best violin playing of the year... Layman ranges all across former ottoman territory with Greek, Balkan, klezmer, Turkish music, all performed with dexterity and verve and beauty.
- Ari Davidow, "The Top Recordings of 2001"
"a stunning, amazing, virtuosic weave of astounding music... I will run out of superlatives long before your ears will tire of the music."
- Ari Davidow, Dec. 25, 2001
(Archived at: www.klezmershack.com/articles/davidow/2001_weblogs.html#layman)
"very exciting live material. An interesting balance of klezmer and other Mediterranean and Balkan musics... a splendid recording by a fine musician."
5 stars (=highest rating)
- George Robinson, The Jewish Week (New York City), March 1, 2002
"Challenging rhythms, slippery chord changes and furiously accurate fiddle playing... wonderful performers... This all-instrumental collection is a winner."
- Gigi Yellen-Kohn, The Jewish Transcript (Seattle), January 11, 2002
"skillful and intricate performances... Where Layman's playing really excels is in communicating an infectious enthusiasm for the music... an all-around great album... Little Blackbird is worth returning to again and again."
- Eric Eller, Green Man Review, April 5, 2002
"Layman's a fiddler who seems part cricket: Her fingers can create a plaintive, sonorous nocturnal wail or leap about the strings like they were blades of sunbrowned grass."
- John Graham, Willamette Week, Portland, Oregon, May 29-June 4, 2002, issue
"a hauntingly sweet live-concert anthology of klezmer, Anatolian, Hungarian, and Romanian virtuoso showpieces."
- Lev Liberman, January 2002
"The album is gorgeous; Sandra Layman is an artist of the highest rank. What sweet tones, what mastery of style and nuance! This disc is destined to be a classic."
- Lev Liberman (co-founder of The Klezmorim), Dec. 24, 2001 (via e-mail)
"A brilliant violinist from Seattle, Sandra has a particular gift for Greek, Romanian, and Yiddish klezmer music. Her ornamentation sings, and her tone, insinuating and lush, seduces you."
- Stu Brotman
"Extraordinarily nuanced and subtle"
- Jody Stecher
"Absolutely wonderful... really inspiring"
- Joshua Horowitz
Appearing with Sandra Layman on LITTLE BLACKBIRD are:
* DAVID ADLHOCH: piano
* HANK BRADLEY: guitar, bouzouki, and violin
* ALEXANDER EPPLER: cimbalom (large hammered dulcimer played typically by Romanian and Hungarian Rom [Gypsy] musicians)
* LISA ROSE, tsimbl/sandouri [santouri] (hammered dulcimer, klezmer and Greek respectively)
* JOEL RUBIN, clarinet
* SUE THOMPSON, guitar
* THE MAZEL TOV KLEZMER BAND (Seattle's first klezmer band, 1980-82: Sandra Layman, violin; Meg Glaser, clarinet; Carey Bluhm, trumpet; David Adlhoch, piano; Rabbi Jim Mirel, bass)
ABOUT VIOLINIST/FIDDLER SANDRA LAYMAN:
Sandra's specialties include klezmer (Yiddish instrumental) music, southern Romanian "muzica lautareasca" (Gypsy music), and Greek music, as well as classical violin and viola.
She was awarded Fulbright and IREX fellowships for music study and research in Romania.
Recent collaborations include klezmer music with clarinetist-vocalist Yankl Falk (also of Di Naye Kapelye) and Lev Liberman (co-founder of The Klezmorim), and with accordionist Laurie Andres, and a variety of Balkan and klezmer music and original compositions with Cafe Dunav (Cathie Whitesides, Hank Bradley, Lori Goldston, and Kyle Hanson) and others. She has played Romanian Gypsy music and related violin-cimbalom repertoire in the Layman-Eppler Duo (with Alexander Eppler).
Sandra Layman teaches violin and viola privately (in Seattle, Washington) and is available for workshops and festivals.
There's more information about Sandra and LITTLE BLACKBIRD at: