Wholesale Klezmer Band / Tfile far a Tsebrokhener Velt
Prayer for a broken world

Album cover: Lovely calligraphy, lovely hands healing world.

The Wholesale Klezmer Band
Tfile far a Tsebrokhener Velt

OYF 004, 1996

Dist. by: Oyfgekumener Productions (OYF-PRO)
199 Coolidge Ave, Unit 107, Watertown, MA 02472-1521
tel: 617-923-2143, fax: 923-4640
E-mail Oyfgekumener Productions

When you first listen to a CD from a band that you've never heard, and it starts off with a decent dance number, life is good. But, still, the mind is really still on other things. It wasn't until vocalist Joe Kurland began singing "Avrom tate," reminding me vaguely of one of my favorite obscure Weavers songs, that I paid real attention. And I found it impossible to stop. Impossible not to listen to this album at least once a day for weeks now.

This isn't an ordinary klezmer album. The music on this recording is drawn largely from a program the band put together in 1994 for a concert to raise funds for nonsectarian relief efforts in Rwanda and Bosnia. In real life, for those of us who weren't at the concert, that means a delightful excursion between dance and song, t'file and story.

Such a mix, even to describe it, it should be sufficiently pretentious that it collapses within five minutes. Not here. Instead, this is that most delightful of discoveries: an album that is fun to listen to, that is worth really listening to. You'll never listen to Brandwein's "Der Yidisher soldant in di trenches" the same way again. And you'll find yourself dancing to a simple story, "The Magic Ring." Kurland's title track, and clarinetist Sherry Meyrent's "Hineni" are also special. But this isn't a collection of songs. Instead, it is a very real prayer for a broken world. Amen.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 1/15/97.

Personnel this recording:
Brian Bender: trombone
Owen Davidson: accordion, domra, guitar, vocal
Peggy Davis: flute, vocal
Richie Davis percussion, vocal
Yosl (Joe) Kurland lead vocal, violin
Lynn Lovell bass viol
Sherry Mayrent music director, clarinets, vocal, accordion


  1. Khsidim tants / Dance of the Chassidim (trad.) 2:32
  2. Avrom tate / Abraham, Papa (Yosl Kurland) 3:02
  3. Milkhome gemish / war medley ("dremlen feyglekh--drowsing birds" words: Leah Rudnicki/Music: Leyb Yampolski; "Der yidisher soldat in di trentshes" Music: Naftule Brandwein; "Tsurik fun der milkhome" Music: Naftule Brandwein) 8:36
  4. The Spear and the Needle (poem: Eliezar Shteynbarg/trans.: Yosl Kurland) 2:28
  5. Rumeynishe khosidl / Romanian Dance (trad.) 4:25
  6. The Magic Ring/Bosnian Tune 6:05
  7. Kadsheynu / Sanctify Us (trad.) 3:50
  8. Tfile far a tsebrokhener velt (words and music: Yosl Kurland) 2:28
  9. Hineni / Here I am (music: Sherry Meyrent) 6:25
  10. The Chassidic Kaddish (trad. prayer/music adapted from Khazn Yossele Rosenblatt) 3:45
  11. Khevre nit gezorgt / Friends, don't worry (Trad.) 3:10

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