Dobe Ressler & di  bostoner  klezmer / nakhes  fun  klezmer

there are no more excuses for using Chancery script on a cover or elsewhere

Dobe Ressler & di  bostoner  klezmer / nakhes fun klezmer
0440606 nakhes, 2004

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Dobe Ressler is one of those wonderful compelled musicians who can be heard playing wherever there is music. Over the last few years I have heard her playing music in Norther New Hampshire during a Yiddish Dance weekend with Zev Feldman, to KlezCanada, to jam sessions and of course, with her band, di bostoner klezmer. On all occasions she plays traditional klezmer with skill, verve, and flair. On this recording the band features her on clarinet, accompanied by the excellent traditional music person-about-town Terry Traub on fiddle and accordion, and by Brian Bender, the most-requested klezmer trombone in the northeast. From the opening "kishenever bulgar" the band grabs attention and feet and never lets go. This is a band that understands what a party is and how to play for one in which people dance their socks off.

This album took several years to make, and the ensemble changed over time. The delightful "Romanian Bulgar" features Matt Wulf on accordion with Philadelphia's Rachel Lemisch on trombone. I am also very taken by the Beregovski suite in which Ressler performs duets with deservedly-ubiquitous tsimbler Pete Rushefsky. (I have a memory going back to KlezKanada in 1999 of listening to Ressler and Rushefsky jamming on the first night of camp, back when both were relatively new to their instruments. They were good then. Now they are very, very good.)

Ressler and her bandmates and friends have mastered the traditional American klezmer sound that dominated Jewish life during the first half of the last century, and which formed the musical basis of the American klezmer revival. But that is not the focus of this album, which is more European-style old-timey klezmer than American. There are a host of tunes here that will be new to listeners, both from recently released transcriptions of Moshe Beregovski, but also compositions learned from recent emigrants from the former Soviet Union, German Goldenshteyn and Edward Kagansky. Unusual for a klezmer revival band, there are also several new compositions by Ressler and bandmates such as several "Belmonter" (from Belmont, MA) compositions by Matt Wulf and Brian Bender's "Melodica doyna" (in a medley which also includes my favorite punning dance tune name, that deli special, the Tongue Hora, "loshn hora") all, again, seamlessly in traditional styles.

In the end, what comes through to the listener is a CD of transcendentally good traditional klezmer music, old and new, a tradition revived, refreshed, and renewed. As the CD title claims, truthfully, this is absolute nakhes fun klezmer.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 18 Mar 2005

di bostoner klezmer 2002:
Dobe Ressler: clarinet
Rachel Lemisch: trombone
Matt Wulf: accordion

di bostoner klezmer 2004:
Dobe Ressler: clarinet
Brian Bender: trombone, melodica
Terry Traub: violin, accordion

Paul Becker: accordion [17]
Pete Rushefsky: tsimbl [5, 9]
Richard Seidel: bass [17]


  1. kishenever bulgar (trad., from Katzman) 1:51
  2. Goldenshteyn hora (trad., from Goldenshteyn) 1:53
  3. di goldene khasene (trad., from Kandel) 3:02
  4. Romanian bulgar (trad., from Hoffman) 2:41
  5. zay gezunt (trad., from Beregovski) 1:10
  6. Romanian hora and bulgar (trad., from Kostakowsky) 3:38
  7. Beregovski nign/avinu malkeynu (trad., from Beregovski) 3:12
  8. nign (trad., from Beregovski) 1:53
  9. tsimbl suite (trad., from Beregovski) 6:55
  10. Belmonter hora un freylkehs (Wulf) 4:18
  11. Belmonter waltz (Wulf) 3:04
  12. Goldenshteyn freylekhs (trad.; from Goldenshteyn) 1:09
  13. Melodica doyna/loshn hora/Benders bulgar (Brian Bender) 8:07
  14. Uralskaya—Russian waltz (trad., from several sources) 2:14
  15. hora fetalor—Maiden's hora (trad., from Kagansky) 2:14
  16. Two Beregovski Freylekhs (trad.; from Beregovski) 1:51
  17. Rozy's waltz (Becker) 1:13

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