CD ReviewsThe Alexandria Kleztet
Delusions of Klezmer
2002 The Alexandria Kleztet
The Alexandria Kleztet’s second album is a good one. The foursome hails from Baltimore and features the mixed gendered crew of Seth Kibel, Claire Cardon, Scott Harlan and Tim Jarvis. The talented bunch employ clarinets, violins, electric guitars, host of percussion instruments and more. The new album is entitled Delusion of Klezmer packs in over 68 minutes worth of rollicking tunes.
The album is all instrumental and mixes familiar standards melodies and original compositions. Frailach Medley and Bulgar in Bb sound as if they belong at an Eastern European Jewish wedding. But the catchy oompa is not from a tuba but from an electric bass. That fact is evident on Cry of the Wild Lucy, which is driven by a fast and heavy bass line. When I played this track on the radio a caller asked if it was The Pixies. He was a little surprised when I told him the name of the group, and then promptly requested Dinosaur Jr.
As traditional as the songs are, it has a modern feel to it. The musicians are as young at heart as they are in age. The songs have a light-hearted feel that goes with the album’s title as song titles like Which Way Did He Go George and Miki Loves Mambo. Their 2000 debut was entitled Y2Klezmer.
Nevertheless, Eli Eli, Y’Did Nefesh and Dodi Li sound as timeless as ever. The group’s original compositions come in traditional variety as well, but they also write some smooth jazzy sounding pieces. Some invoke a smoky jazz night-club. The title track is striking in name but hardly striking in sound. It’s a percussion-free piece of theme music that could easily be the soundtrack to some unwritten movie.
Copyright 2003 Jewish Community Radio