333

Yale Strom: Borsht with Bread, Brothers

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Based largely on his many visits to Eastern Europe, violinist Yale Strom paints pictures in his music, writings and films of a pre-WWII shtetl music scene where Gypsy (Rom) and Jewish musicians slipped in and out of each other's traveling bands. This porous musical culture resulted in many of the tunes on Hot Pstromi's Borsht with Bread, Brothers.

Hot Pstromi includes an interesting mix of jazz/world musicians like Klezmatics founding drummer David Licht, accordionist Peter Stan (Slavic Soul Party) and clarinetist/saxophonist Norbert Stachel (Tower of Power). Vocalist Elizabeth Schwartz displays a wonderful appreciation for the nuances inherent in this music. Her mastery of the ornamentations is superb on selections like the movingly ethereal Hungarian Jewish folk song "Szol a Kakas Mar (The Rooster Crows Already) and an extended version of the Czarist protest song "Vemen Veln Mir Dimen, Brider (Whom Shall We Serve Brothers?). She gives an inspired performance of "Ver es Keseyder Tseyln (Who Can Count in Order?) that wonderfully portrays the genre's cantorial and badkhen (wedding jester rhymer) underpinnings. Strom's fiddle, Stachel's clarinet and Stan's accordion likewise beautifully expose the emotional depth behind the melodies of what for the most part are simple folk tunes. Strom showcases his extensive knowledge in both song selection—from travels in the Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, Germany, Russia, Poland, Romania and Moldova—and the precisely written liner notes, where songs are skillfully described with lyrics presented in both Yiddish and English.

Track Listing: Svalava Kozatshok; Mermelshteyn

Personnel: Yale Strom: violin (1-4, 6-12), hand percussion (2), vocals (6), whistling (12); Norbert Stachel: clarinet (1, 3, 12), North Indian bamboo flute (1), tenor saxophone (4, 10), E-flat clarinet (4, 8, 9), piccolo (9), penny whistle (12); Peter Stan: accordion (1, 3, 4, 8-10, 12); Roger Sprocket: bass (1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12); David Licht: percussion (1, 3, 8-10, 12); Fred Benedetti: guitar (2, 5, 6, 7, 11); Elizabeth Schwartz: vocals (3, 6, 9, 11); Tripp Sprague: hand percussion (2), flute (5, 11), tenor saxophone (7); Jeff Pekarek: bass (2, 5-7, 11), vocals (6).

Title: Borsht with Bread, Brothers | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ARC Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Quartet Plus, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet Plus, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Triangulum" CD/LP/Track Review Triangulum
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.