To round out the Klezmer Mountain Boys, NYC clarinetist Margot Leverett has assembled a diverse and talented group of klezmer and bluegrass veterans. The delightful outcome is not a fusion, but instead a forum for these musicians to meet, strut their own stuff, and try out each other's styles. Consisting of bluegrass/klezmer medleys and uniquely performed traditional pieces, the record offers listeners a chance to discover both these culturally rich genres.
The common denominator is of course Leverett, and this founding mother of klezmer's new wave is very much at home as mistress of ceremonies. Her clarinet laughs and sobs as she displays her prodigious klezmer chops on pieces like "Kolomeyke," "Klezmer Waltz," and assorted bulgars. While doing so, she introduces the bluegrass musicians – fiddler Kenny Kosek, mandolin player Barry Mitterhoff and guitarist Joe Selly – to her repertoire. These musicians fit right in, as Kosek's fiddle overflows with the requisite emotion, Mitterhoff effortlessly accesses a Russian balalaika feel and Selly's guitar rings like a bell.
What is no less remarkable is how Leverett returns the favor in kind as she discovers the heretofore unknown country in clarinet on tunes like "Cluck Ol' Hen" and "Lonesome Fiddle Blues." She also dives into several other bluegrass staples to expose their roots, lending a Celtic aire to "Leather Britches" and "Growling Old Man, Growling Old Woman." On the latter, she acquaints some of Jewish music's leading players, in the persons of trumpeter Frank London and his Klezmer Brass All Stars, with the world of bluegrass.
Leverett also gets together with jazz pianist Ruslin Agabayev for intriguing improvisational renderings of the traditional "Git Morgn" and "F major Bulgar." "Leibes Tanz," a wonderful celebration of NYC klezmer courtesy of accordionist/vocalist Michael Alpert and a beautiful Yiddish folk medley with pianist Zalmen Mlotek round things out. Bassist Marty Confurius holds all this together, providing the perfect klezmer pulse or picking out a peerless country beat.
Track Listing: 1. Cluck Ol' Hen & Kolomeyke 3:39
2. Klezmer Waltz 3:59
3. Russian Sher & Growling Old Man, Growling Old Woman 3:55
4. Git Morgn 4:40
5. Leather Britches 2:14
6. Leibes Tanz 3:40
7. Kentucky Dance Medley: Bill Monroe Meets Sid Beckerman 5:45
8. Lonesome Moonlight Waltz & Volich 5:47
9. Lonesome Fiddle Blues & Sid's Bulgars 3:43
10. F Major Bulgar 3:30
11. Sea of Reeds 2:05
12. A Redl & A Volich 3:56
13. Yiddish Folk Medley 4:24
Personnel: Margot Leverett - clarinet;
Kenny Kosek - fiddle;
Barry Mitterhoff - mandolin;
Marty Confurius - bass;
Joe Selly - guitar;
Frank London - trumpet;
Aaron Alexander - drums;
Curtis Hasselbring - trombone;
Mark Rubin - tuba;
Susan Hoffman Watts - trumpet;
Michael Alpert - accordion, vocals;
Ruslan Agababayev- piano;
Zalmen Mlotek - piano.
Year Released: 2003
| Record Label: Traditional Crossroads
| Style: Latin/World
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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