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Masada - Balan: Book Of Angels Volume 5 (The Cracow Klezmer Band) CD (album) cover





3.96 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Everyone familiar with Masada's Book of Angels series know, that all releases are different, and it's often difficult to describe music, recorded on one or another of them.

Balan, recorded by Cracow Klezmer Band, is one of most difficult to be described. Not because music is complex or very unusual there,more because all difference is in muances and atmosphere.

All klezmer-avant movement grew up from NY downtown, and Zorn and his Tzadik label gave us the possibility to listen very unusual versions of Jewish folk rooted free jazz/avant music. In that sense there is not such a big difference with this release - you will find one more version of klezmer based music.

Main difference (at least for me) is that musicians there are from one of a few place, where klezmer lived as day to day folk music, from one of historical Jewish culture capitol - Krakow. So, returning back to roots in some sense,

I was born and grew up in another biggest center of Jewish world culture - Wilno, and perfectly remember Jewish families living in neighborhood. In fact, all my childhood was spent between them, No, I never heard klezmer played as folk music in my childhood, but I perfectly remember that specific atmosphere, Jewish culture and everyday life in place,where lived their mothers and grandmothers. Klezmer iz organic musical component of their live and character - melancholic, emotional, funny,sad...

Music,played by Cracow Klezmer band is too chamber to be accepted as original Yiddish folklore, too academic and too ... avantgarde. But possibly because their music was born right on its roots, it has some very natural, very authentic feeling.

Bayan (kind Eastern European accordion with buttons instead of keys on right side),violin, acoustic bass, percussion and strange wordless vocals. Plus strings quartet as guests. Music sounds quite refined ,sometimes almost academic, but every second of it is full of that indescribable soulful feeling you can hardly find in overseas klezmer sound.

Far not most experimental or avant, this music attracts more by its atmosphere and emotional level. Must have for everyone interested in klezmer avant roots and klezmer as cultural phenomena in general.

snobb | 4/5 |


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