Brave Old World / Beyond the Pale

Album cover: It's art and it's blue. Brave Old World
Beyond the Pale

Pinorrekk Records CD 5013, 1992
Hallerstrasse 72,
D-20146 hamburg

Collectively, the members of this band represent decades of klez experience. You can hear klez-ish licks on some material bassist Stu Brotman was playing in Kaleidoscope, with David Lindley, back in the Sixties. Other members of the band have been through many of the original klez revival bands. This is the band's second recording as "Brave Old World." (There was a Joel Rubin album, also called "Brave Old World" that set the spark for this particular ensemble, but Joel and the band have now gone separate ways). I think this is probably the deepest, near-tradition, exploring of what klezmer means this year. Brave Old World isn't as flashy or obviously exciting as the Klezmatics or the Flying Bulgars ("we don't like to play loud"), but this band is very, very satisfying. We'll be listening to this album for a long time.

Other listeners, on the WELL, have described this as the most profound klezmer album to come along in a long time. Yeah.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 6/28/95. Minor editing 11/22/97.

Personnel, this recording
Alan Bern: musical director, accordion, piano
Michael Alpert: vocals, violin, drum, guitar
Kurt Bjorling: clarinet, bass clarinet, accordion on "Waltz Român à Clef"
Stuart Brotman: bass, cymbalom, drum, duduk, saz, pennywhistle, tilinca, trombone


  1. Berlin Overture (text: Alpert; music: Alpert/Bern) 4:49
  2. Brave Old Hora (trad./Bern) 3:12
  3. Basarabye (text: trad./Alpert; music: trad./Bern) 6:44
  4. Big Train (trad./Bern) 6:33
  5. Waltz Român à Clef (Brotman) 2:45
  6. Borsht (text: trad./Alpert; music: trad./Alpert/Bern/Bjorling/Brotman) 3:17
  7. Oy, Di Dreydlekh (Tarras; trad./Bjorling) 3:41
  8. Di Sapozhkelekh (text: trad./Alpert; music: trad./Bern) 3:31
  9. Yismekhu (text: trad./Alpert) 2:12
  10. A Tish-Nign (Bjorling/Bern) 2:35
  11. Bobover Wedding March (trad./Alpert/Bern/Bjorling/Brotman) 3:25
  12. Rufn Di Kinder Aheym Calling the Children Home (trad./Bjorling) 5:06
  13. Doina Extravaganza (test: trad./Alpert; music: trad./Bern) 11:43
  14. Berlin 1990 (text and music: Alpert; arr.: Bern) 8:50

to top of page To top of page

the KlezmerShack Ari's home page
to About the Jewish-music mailing list
to The Klezmer Shack main page
to Ari Davidow's home page