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CD Review: Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars / Carnival Conspiracy

what you see is what you get - this is amazing musicFrank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars / Carnival Conspiracy. Piranha Records CD-PIR1902. Delightful notes by Frank London are available on the Piranha website. CD available from amazon.com
It's been over a year since Frank handed me the pre-release CD of this album so I'd have something to keep me awake during an early-morning airport run at KlezKanada. I was immediately blown away by the incredible vocals and insane brass wall-o'-joyous-sound on the opening "In Your Garden Twenty Fecund Fruit Trees" and never looked back. I'm still awake and still tapping my toes. Of all the Frank London projects, the one I love the most unceasingly is the brass band, and so far, each new CD has been mind-blowingly good, and still different from the one preceding. While writing about the KlezKanada Faculty CD a couple of days ago I got that guilty feeling. I had never reviewed this CD on the KlezmerShack. A shande!.

From the relatively traditional Yiddish "Oh Agony, You Are So Sweet Like Sugar I Must To Eat You Up" featuring Lorin Sklamberg at his best, following by Michael Alpert doing the same, but to an Argentinian band´-klezmer fusion (What's with these song titles? It's like someone was inventing names for the original Naftule Brandwine tracks, but on acid.) The music swings from balkan brass to New Orleans with plenty of klezmer in between. The chorus that was assembled for the Divahn soundtrack (Kol Isha?) is back to good effect, as well. Susan Watts-Hoffman blows trumpet with the best and then sings to bring tears to our eyes. The people participating on this album include the best of the best, from up-and-coming tuba god Ron Caswell, to the recording debut of the late clarinetist German Goldenshteyn. The album finally closes with a cluster of sad fanfares, a familiar hasidic nign(?) that invariably cause me to start again at the beginning. This is one of the major feel-good CDs of the last couple of years, and still one of the most frequently played on my CD changer. [GRADE: A]

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