Sruli and Lisa's Klezmer Dance Party

This is only a hint of how much fun these guys are Sruli and Lisa's
Klezmer Dance Party

CD available from Hatikvah Music
436 N. Fairfax Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA90036
Tel: 323 655 7083 / Fax: 323 938 0577
E-mail: Hatikvah Music">Hatikvah Music

Whenever you are at a big public gathering of people making joyous Jewish music, the two people you are likeliest to see aiding, abetting, and making that joyous music are Sruli Dresder and Lisa Mayer. I first met them at Klezkamp. I've met them again at concerts throughout the Northeast, and at the Ashkenaz Festival and KlezKanada. They seem to be everywhere. Listening to this recording, you can begin to understand how. They play beautifully, play songs we all know, and they are the undisputed masters at getting all of their friends to join in. (Note that most recently they have been appearing with Michael Alpert, of Brave of World and Kapelye fame, doing a show on hasidic nigunim and stories. Don't miss "The Singing Table" is it comes to a performance near you.)

Although children will surely enjoy this album, unlike their two "Oy Vey" albums, this one is directed squarely at adults. No shtick. No cute stories or riddles. Just straight-forward, energetic, soul-inspiring klezmer, and just enough of it to make you eager for their next outing. They cover favorites--not just klezmer revival classics, but joyous music like the "Kazatzke" (I have an old video of my father dancing to this piece at his sister's sweet 16 party--this supplants all previous soundtracks in my mind--I can even imagine the guests breaking into "Dayenu" just as Sruli and Lisa do here.) and that "traditional" American Jewish staple, "Miserlou"--Sruli and Lisa's manages to sound entirely in that tradition, while Lisa also throws in an occasional Dick Dale-resplendent growl on the violin. Here's the thing, and I'll try to be brief. This is the sort of album that reminds you why klezmer makes such good dance music. I love the many directions that klezmer has taken in the last 20 years, but this is the reminder of why it was worth reviving, and what makes this music special. But then, as everyone who has every sung, danced, or listened with Sruli and Lisa knows, how could they record anything less? It is, as they say on the CD cover, "a non-stop simcha".

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 3/22/03

Personnel this recording:
Sruli Dresder: clarinet, accordion, poyk (bass drum and cymbal), recorders
Lisa Mayer: violin/viola, sekund (rhythm) electric violin, cello

Michael Alpert: vocals, track 5


  1. Freylikhs/Bulgars I 5:25
  2. Khusidls 6:43
  3. Kozatzke 2:33
  4. Miserlou/Terkishers 6:53
  5. Hasidic Rikud 7:35
  6. Horas 6:20
  7. Freylikhs/Bulgars II 7:21

All songs traditional, arranged by Dresder and Mayer.

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