The Alexandria Kleztet | Close Enough for Klezmer

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United States - Maryland

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Spiritual: Judaica World: Klezmer Moods: Instrumental
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Close Enough for Klezmer

by The Alexandria Kleztet

The Alexandria Kleztet is an exciting and innovative "alternative" klezmer band from the Baltimore/Washington region.
Genre: Spiritual: Judaica
Release Date: 

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1. Kolomeike
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1:37 $0.99
2. Bashana Haba'a
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2:37 $0.99
3. Chorshat Ha'ekaliptus
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3:33 $0.99
4. Hine Ma Tov
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2:41 $0.99
5. Where There's a Will, There's a Waltz
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4:32 $0.99
6. Y'rushalayim Shel Zahav
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3:12 $0.99
7. Doina & Waltz
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2:08 $0.99
8. Ma Navu
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3:07 $0.99
9. Klezmer Nova
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6:14 $0.99
10. My Yiddishe Mame
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2:54 $0.99
11. Revenge of Untitled
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5:28 $0.99
12. Bassist on the Roof
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2:57 $0.99
13. A Nakht in Gan Eydn
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2:57 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
October 18, 2005 - The Alexandria Kleztet, an inventive klezmer band based in the Washington/Baltimore region, has released its third album, Close Enough for Klezmer,.
On this album, the band continues to define their own brand of "alternative" klezmer music, using original compositions and creative arrangements to expand and renew traditional Jewish musical forms. Over the past seven years, the band has developed a reputation for using diverse influences from jazz, classical, rock, and world music in their unique sound.
It is an approach that has earned the band six Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) Awards including Best World Music Recording for both of their previous albums - Y2Klezmer (2000) and Delusions of Klezmer (2002). The band was named Best World Music Group and leader Seth Kibel was chosen as Best World Music Instrumentalist in 2003 and 2004.
"We are always working to expand the boundaries of klezmer music in a way that honors the rich musical tradition while keeping the sound fresh for a new generation of fans," said bandleader Seth Kibel. "With this album, we hope we continue to prove how dynamic and contemporary klezmer music can be."
On Close Enough for Klezmer, the band shows its range on creative re-imaginings of traditional and well-loved Israeli, Hebrew and Yiddish material such as "Bashana Haba'a," "Ma Navu," and "My Yiddishe Mame." Four compositions by Kibel, a skilled swing and jazz instrumentalist, and one by bassist Scott Harlan, a noted jazz-fusion player, demonstrate strong jazz roots, as do numerous improvised sequences within songs.
Kibel and Harlan are joined by percussionist Tim Jarvis and Helen Hausmann, making her debut as the band's new violinist and mandolinist. Violinist Claire Cardon makes a final appearance, recorded before she moved to the Midwest.

Azalea City Recordings - ACCD-0604


Reviews


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Dirty Linen Magazine, August/September 2006


Here’s another group vying for the title of most-committed klezmer revival act. Based in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, this quartet had been silent on the recording scene since 2002, but have come roaring back with an impassioned set that includes inspired versions of Hebrew and Yiddish material, including “Ma Navu,” “Hine Ma Tov,” and “My Yiddishe Mame.” But they also let their jazzy roots show a little on such originals as “Bassist on the Roof.” And it’s awfully hard to resist “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Waltz.” Beyond the occasional traditional prayer, the Kleztet has given us good, old-fashioned party music. And that calls for celebration.

Sing Out! (Summer 2006)

From the Summer 2006 issue of Sing Out! (Vol. 50, #2)
While not as rock oriented or obviously avant garde as The Klezmatics or The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, The Alexandria Kleztet are expanding the concept of what a klezmer band can be. Thus, their third CD is appropriately titled Close Enough for Klezmer.
For example, this CD includes tunes not normally associated with klezmer bands, such as the Jewish folk song “Hine Ma Tov” (this was always a favorite at family gatherings) and two pieces from Israeli songwriter Naomi Shemer: “Chorshat Ha’Ekaliptus” and “Y’rushalayim shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold).” But what definitely separates this clever band from the pack of klezmer outfits is the strong jazz influence. For example, on several original compositions, band leader Seth Kibel blows his heart out with hot clarinet and saxophone riffs. In fact, there’s a fair amount of jazz-like improvisations from Kibel and his colleagues on violin and electric bass on several cuts here.
Other colors also bring fascinating shades to The Alexandria Kleztet’s music. For example, “Klezmer Nova,” an original composition by Kibel, has a relaxed, samba-like rhythm. “Bassist on the Roof,” a piece composed by bassist Scott Harlan, has a lively flamenco feel, emphasized by some deft finger work from Harlan, here doubling on electric guitar.
Violin and clarinet harmonize well throughout this recording.
The Alexandria Kleztet may not be international stars yet, but under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Kibel they will definitely get there. -- KR

Jorgen Olsen


I very much enjoyed this cd. I have a bunch of different recordings of Ma Navu. I used to dance to it in music camp many long years ago when I was a kid. The recording I heard back then was a much faster tempo and had a woman singing. It seems that every recording I've come across is very different from what I heard back then. I'm not complaining. It's just that it has to be a fast tempo to make me want to dance. I still remember the dance steps. It was such a special time of my life and I wish I could find THAT recording but alas I have searched in vain. Maybe one of these days I'll record it myself. Ha (!)

Judith Fiterman

Close Enough for Klezmer
This is my second Kleztet CD, and I confess, I am now HOOKED on this group! Their energy, rhythms, and wonderful harmonies are wonderful, it's some of the happiest and most uplifting music I've ever heard. It's a good thing Winter is coming, because my neighbors are probably getting tired of hearing it through my open windows!

Lea Jones

Tasty in concept - masterful in execution
These are fine recordings of great tunes--mainly covers-- some originals. The playing is joyful, fluid, and confident. The concepts are both solid and great fun. This is klezmer for klezmaholics, esotericnics, and Cream fans. Seth is one MONSTER of a clarinet player, and the band keeps pace. Great stuff.

Cletus Kennelly

Top musicianship and an eclectic mix of Klezmer and Jazz!
Having attended the Alezandria Kleztet's shows, I know what top-notch musicians they are, across the board. I've also witnessed how they weave klezmer music with jazz, rock, and world music into their own sound. This CD demonstrates all of this. The songs moved me to dance, and a couple of them moved me to tears of beauty. You'll be glad you bought this CD.