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Jim Rebhan is a member of the San Francisco Bay's Ellis Island Old World Folk Band/California Klezmer

The NY Times reviews this book, and Seth Rogovoy's The Essential Klezmer, 8/2000.

Ari Davidow's review of this book, as well as books by Seth Rogovoy and Mark Slobin, 12/2001.

other klezmer articles and reviews

Now Out - Henry Sapoznik's "Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World"

rather uninteresting cover. poor reflection of contentHenry Sapoznik
Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World

Format: Hardcover, 350pp.
ISBN: 002864574X
Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
Pub. Date: September 1999

From: "Jim Rebhan"
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999

Jim sent this to me as e-mail, and with his permission I am posting it on the KlezmerShack where word of the book has been eagerly anticipated. Jim has been active in the San Francisco area's klezmer scene (among others--have instruments and people making joyous music, and Jim will usually be among those invited and playing) maybe since the beginning. Certainly, he was already in San Francisco's Ellis Island (different from the band of the same name in LA) long before I arrived in the mid-'80s. So, it would be hard to find a nicer, or more qualified source to talk about the book.

Henry's book is finally out. (Schirmer Books). I got my copy delivered yesterday from and read it cover to cover by last evening.

It is pithy, fairly wide-ranging and is a must for those who want to know about the social history of this music and the personalities. Don't expect the book to focus narrowly on Klezmer music because of the title. Much of it has to do with popular (Ashkenazi) Jewish music in general. As could be expected, the book is replete with memorable anecdotes.. As those who have met him know, Henry is not shy about expressing his opinions, so I imagine there will be some discussions about his takes on some of the people he describes (he is mostly complimentary and enthusiastic). Some of the best parts of the book are those that are autobiographical. There is supposed to be a companion CD to the book, with 23 selection, but it won't be out till January (Shanachie) and the book itself does not give the contents of the CD.

The book is neither a stylistic analysis nor a performance guide, so those who want to gain more insight into the musical style will have to dig up recordings of people whom Henry mentions or look elsewhere (or go to Klezkamp). I think Joel Rubin has been working on a book on Klezmer music. Joel is strong in that area (see his essay in Mazltov! Jewish-American Wedding Music from the Repertoire of Dave Tarras - Schott Ed 8695), so it should be interesting to see to what extent the books complement each other.

Best regards-

Jim Rebhan (Ellis Island Old World Folk Band/California Klezmer)

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Contents copyright © 1999 by Jim Rebhan. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Page last revised 11 June, 2007.