Old Roots-New World
Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
 

As many of you know, I depend on a wheelchair for mobility.  However, while listening to this wonderful new CD collection from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, I came close to jumping out of my seat and "hora-ing" around the room.  I am definitely considering the idea of recommending this CD as a new form of physical therapy.  It is virtually impossible to listen to this music without feeling it course through your veins and lift your spirits. 

Old Roots-New World not only consists of fraylakh and fast-paced dance music; there is also a generous sampling of the more intimate and thoughtful sounds that serve to soothe the soul. Each track is a self-contained story, with a distinct beginning middle and end.  Songs such as "Shpil de Fidl/Yidl Mitn Fidl (Play, Fiddle, Play/ Yidl With the Fiddle)" and "Zol Zayn Gelebt (Live to Enjoy)" set tows tapping and spirits soaring.  While tender selections including "Leah's Saraband" and "Friling (Spring)" weave enchantment. 

In my rarely to be humble opinion, the highlight of the entire album is "Klezmer Rhapsody for Violin."  The listener is taken on a tuneful journey through the various moods and expressions of Klezmer music.  I found the best way to listen to this 17 minute, 31 second track was to close my eyes and allow my mind to wander freely as the rhythms and tones poured over and through me. 

I must make specific comment on the vocal renderings by Lori Lipitz. The best way I can describe her singing voice is by referring to her as the Judy Garland of Klezmer.  Lori uses the lyrics to a song as a painter uses a brush.  She strokes and molds the notes and words together in a way that creates an entire picture.  Even for those of us who do not understand Yiddish fluently, her interpretation of the lyrics enables a listener to comprehend the story of the song. 

The music and vocal artistry present on this CD are class A all the way.  I urge my Megillah family members to log onto the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Web site at http://www.klezmerband.com and order a copy of this must-own CD.  It is truly the Chanukah gift that keeps on giving. 

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