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Review: Duo Controverso / Gedanken

album coverMy first conversation with Kurt Bjorling took place almost ten years ago and had much to do with the difficulty of being the "other" Chicago klezmer band (Kurt co-founded the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble), and a lot to do with the tapes of Naftule Brandwein that he was passing around to fellow musicians who had no access at the time to Brandwein's amazing and influential repertoire.

Bjorling's exploration of klezmer, and then beyond, all of Eastern European Jewish music has been profound and influential. On this newest recording, he and his wife, harpist Annette Bjorling, take all of that: klezmer, nusakh, nign, and meld it into a delightful, thoughtful, articulate and gentle album of clarinet-harp duos.

Although many klezmer fans will enjoy this album, I think the people who will most enjoy it are those who have been more interested in classical music, or cantorial music or hassidic nign. There is less of the dance party here and more of a spiritual journey. You can read the entire review at http://www.klezmershack.com/bands/bjorling/gedanken/bjorling.gedanken.html

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