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MP3 Wholesale Klezmer Band - Yidn Fun Amol (Jews of Long Ago)

In Yidn fun Amol, the Wholesale Klezmer Band brings the joy and energy of a traditional Jewish celebration to your living room.

9 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, WORLD: Eastern European

- Editorial Reviews -

Ari Davidow, 1/1/98
This album showcases the [Wholesale Klezmer] Band as it performs live, and for weddings and simkhas. As is to be expected, it is quite a treat. What I especially enjoy live, and what comes off to good effect on this album, is the effort the band makes to reconnect their audiences with Jewish storytelling a sense of Yiddish as a living language. As on previous albums, they include a couple of original songs in Yiddish, including the pointed "Redt Yiddish" (Speak Yiddish). In this song, Yosl notes that Yiddish was once used as a secret language--by our parents or grandparents, among others, secure in the that their kids had become real Americans--ignorant of the "mame loshn." But just as they once said to each other, "redt yiddish so the kids won''t understand," those kids are now going to university to learn ... Yiddish. Yosl now sings, "redt everyone should understand."

The other side of the live feel is the medleys, including a huge 16 minute bash towards the end, that reflect how klezmer music is really played when you want people to dance. Instead of playing song song song, a good klezmer band at a simkha starts playing and adjusts to the audience and keeps going until the dancers need a rest. In this, klezmer (and I presume, similar music) is different from modern rock and country, where the drummer keeps moving along at about the same pace while the band improvises until it gets tired. I much prefer the way Wholesale Klezmer and other simkha bands play, instead. The medleys also give clarinet player Sherry Mayrent a chance to showcase her soulful playing, and give the rest of the band a chance to demonstrate their own abilities. Trombonist Brian Bender is also quite special, weaving in and out of Mayrent''s lines on the Turkisher medley, for instance. On the other hand, Peggy Davis'' flute gives a lovely and different feel on the Hora Gemi! sh (Hora Medley).

Wholesale Klezmer is one of the nicest, and most authentic-sounding klezmer and Yiddish revival bands performing. This album really catches why audiences flock to listen, and to dance, when they perform."Mazl tov!" it''s another wonderful afternoon spent with Wholesale Klezmer. If you''re not in their neighborhood, and don''t have the chance to hear them live, that''s as good as it gets.

Stacy Meyn, Dirty Linen, Oct/Nov 1998
From the first excited honks of the clarinet on the opening track, "Dem Klezmers Lebn (the Musician''s Life)," the Wholesale Klezmer Band gives us more value than their name would have us believe. Gigging since 1982, this Massachusetts-based band rolls out their third album of klezmer nuggets. Previous efforts have incvolved raising funds for humanitarian aid and brought the Wholesale Klezmer Band to Cernegie Hall, sharing the stage with Pete Seeger and Sweet honey in the rock, as well as playing at Clinton''s 1993 presidential inaugural. Liner notes are in English and Yiddish, with pohonetic pronunciations, and the songs are written as oral history lessions with which even the non-jew can identify. With YUidn fun Amol, the band pays heaps of respect ot the Jews of long ago and puts a great deal of energy into keeping the traditional songs, dances, and prayers -- especially the Yiddish language itself -- alive and well.

Robert Berta, Classical Free Reed Review
[This] compact disc is an excellent introduction to the various musical styles of Klezmer music and features fine performances by all.... their playing really gets you in the mood to jump up and dance. As in most Klezmer music, the clarinet tends to have a strong voice, and Sherry Mayrent comes through with excellent playing. She can really make that clarinet "talk!" .... The title piece, "Yidn Fun Amol" is a delightful, spirited selection....Another interesting selection was "Tants Gemish" which was a short [16 minutes long] example of what it is like to hear the group play at a simkhe.... So, if you are at all a fan of Klezmer, or want to learn about a fascinating ethnic style of music, this compact disc is a great choice.

Album Description
This third release by the Wholesale Klezmer Band offers a taste of what it is like to be at a traditional Jewish celebration. There are a number of longer dance medleys on this CD, including a 16-minute extravaganza that gives listeners a real sense of being on the dance floor. The title track, written by clarinetist Sherry Mayrent, and vocalist Yosl Kurland''s "Redt yidish (Speak Yiddish)" both offer a look at why the members of this group do the work they do, connecting the present with the past and also with the future, as these performers continue to explore the unique contributions of Yiddish and Yiddish culture to our contemporary world.

About the Artist
The Wholesale Klezmer Band''s approach to performing traditional Ashkenazic Jewish music is to unite elements from the older, European Yiddish melodic style with an ensemble approach modeled on traditional Ashkenazic community prayer style. As in the synagogues of the old country, there is a strong melodic voice, usually the clarinet, leading the group as the cantor would lead the prayers, with other individual voices echoing, anticipating, murmuring in the background, rising and falling with each individual''s involvement in the flow of sound. It is a dense style, at times strongly in unison or deeply introspective, at other times almost argumentative, again, very similar to traditional Jewish prayer style. But whether the other voices join, echo, or respond to the leading voice, everything played by each musician is closely tied to the melody itself, as each person''s prayers are anchored in the words s/he chants.

The Wholesale Klezmer Band performs in Yiddish and Ashkenazic Hebrew, and specializes in making their material accessible to English speakers through translations, stories, explanations, visual aids, and that universal language, the music itself. They write many of their own dance tunes and Yiddish songs that speak to contemporary concerns. It is fitting that the Wholesale Klezmer Band''s style should reflect the important Jewish values of community and egalitarianism, since their song repertoire deliberately focuses on other important aspects of Yiddish culture, especially humor, social justice, and tikun olam or the repair of the world. Unlike most working klezmer bands, Wholesale refuses, as a general rule, to perform non-Yiddish material. The effect of this overall grounding of musical elements in the very core of the culture from which they stem is a powerful merging of form and content that is recognized by Jewish and non-Jewish listeners alike.

In its 17-year history, the Wholesale Klezmer Band has grown from a local pick-up group to a professional ensemble bringing vibrant Yiddish music to a wide variety of audiences, young and old, throughout New England and New York state. In addition to performing concerts and workshops for both Jews and non-Jews, Wholesale remains firmly anchored in the Jewish communities it serves, carrying out the traditional function at weddings and bar mitzve celebrations through-out the region.

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