Bagg Street Klezmer Band / Go Meshuggah!

Album cover: naif painting of wedding couple and dancers outside synagogue

Bagg St. Klezmer Band
Go Meshuggah!
BSKB-101CD, 1995

CD available from
"Klezmer is our Bagg."

Here is yet another authoritative local band playing at far beyond local standards. From the opening medley of "Odessa Bulgars," these Bagg St. folks take their klez seriously, and play it with a lot of fervor and fun. They do a lot of dancing, with but a few quieter moments, as on their peaceful Russian Folk Melody, or on the sensitively done instrumental version of "Papir" (think, "doina doina" but less cloying), which manages to segue into a non-cliched Kolomeike (a dance of which I am beginning to tire in some renditions: Bad versions of this song--and unlike anything you are going to hear on this recording, are reminding me of my days emceeing a folk club in Jerusalem, where each week brought yet another butchered version of "Tennessee Stud").

Sorry for the digression, but you realize how much you enjoy something when you find yourself tapping your toes to songs that you have come to dread on other recordings. This is one of the good recordings. Even their "Papirosn" sounds new.

I should also mention, since this is a Montreal band, that the liner notes are presented in both English and French, and that both renditions look exquisite. Songs are well-annotated, as well.

Go Meshuggah! is also unusual in that there are no vocals on the album. In short, the band remains true to klezmer tradition, presenting renewed standards for your listening pleasure. I emphasize the word, "pleasure." Clearly, to paraphrase the band's motto, "Klezmer is its Bagg." (Or, as they would put it, "Le Klezmer est notre Bagg".


Reviewed by Ari Davidow 6/29/96

Personnel, this recording:
Minda Bernstein: violin
Stephen Errington: piano
Rick Goldman: clarinet, band leader
Lorin Levine: saxophones: baritone, tenor & alto
David Mandel: accordion
Harle Thomas: drums, auxiliary percussion
Philip Weech: trumpet, flugelhorn

Guest (Thalassa/Araber Tantz)
David Sturton
: electric bass


  1. Odessa Bulgars (trad.) 4:25
  2. Russian Shers (trad.) 4:14
  3. Thalassa/Araber Tantz (trad.) 4:33
  4. Vi bist du gevezn far prohibition?/Nifty's Frailach (trad.) 4:28
  5. Sha Sha! di shviger kumpt/Wedding Frailach medley (trad.) 6:13
  6. Papir/Kolomeike (trad.) 4:02
  7. Papirosn (H. Yablokoff) 5:06
  8. Russian Folk Medley (trad.) 5:33
  9. Fun der chuppah/Sadeger Khosidl (trad.) 4:24
  10. Doina/Romanian Hora/Romanian Bulgar (trad.)

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