This is a revolutionary album from 1992 which was a harbinger for what became the “Radical Jewish Culture” movement. A lot of the album is in a traditional Klezmer/ Yiddish folk music mode, but half of the album features arrangements which contain extended improvisations, modern harmony and rhythmic motifs. This is one of the albums which inspired Ari Davidow to write about Jewish music and start his Klezmer Shack web site.
The incredible vocals of Betty Silberman are featured- she successfully bridges the gap between her Yiddish upbringing and her modern jazz-rock yearnings. Clarinetist/bandleader Glenn Dickson improvises, composes and arranges his way to a new sound on this album, recasting the folk song “Az men Fort Kayn Sevastopol” into an epic jazz/rock statement, composing the original “Waiting” which Woody Allen picked up for his movie “Deconstructing Harry,” and improvising in an extended klezmer style on “Moldavian Tanz.” Trombonist David Harris blows incredible solos on traditional numbers such as “National Hora,” delicate obligatos on pieces like “Oy Dortn, Dortn, Ibern Vaserl” and carves a powerful klezmer-jazz fusion on his solo on “Sevastopol.”
This album looks forwards and backwards at the same time in ways which no other album of the klezmer revival does. It is a startling achievement.
Glenn Dickson: clarinets
Betty Silberman: vocals
David Harris: trombone
Maury Rosenberg: piano and accordion
Jim Gray: tuba
Alan Hall: drums