Den Flygande Bokrullen / Shuff!
Review by Keith Wolzinger
Den Flygande Bokrullen
Arko Records, 2007, 2007
When Den Flygande Bokrullen contacted me on MySpace to add me to their friends list, I was immediately intrigued and looked up their profile page. Imagine, a Klezmer band from Sweden! ( I do have some Swedish heritage.) When I listened to their song samples, I was hooked. DFB (as they refer to themselves) has a street-klezmer sound that grabs you and takes hold of your soul. This is joyous, raucous music that spans several genres of Eastern European music. Besides Klezmer, there are Balkan, Turkish, and Romanian songs.
The band has a great blend of instrumentation, and everyone is featured at some point on the album. Even though the group is brass/woodwind centered, I very much enjoyed "Manos," which features some very nice Mandolin/Piano work, and "Barbanjo," which starts off with Banjo/Accordion. I think the most serious and lovely piece is the final "Leipzig," a delicate brass choir piece with sax, but no rhythm section.
Of the 15 songs on the album, 5 are original compositions by members of the band. The band as a whole takes credit for all of the arrangements.
The recording has a great "live" feel to it. Even though this is a studio recording, the band draws you in and the listener feels part of the action. I've listened to this album several times and each time it ends I start it over again, just to hear a little bit more.
If your taste leans toward brass/woodwind klezmer do yourself a favor and give Shuff! a listen. You can thank me later.
Reviewed by Keith Wolzinger, October 11, 2007