Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars

  • Di Shikere Kapelye [Piranha, 2000] ***
  • Carnival Conspiracy [Piranha, 2005] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Di Shikere Kapelye [Piranha, 2000]
"Band of Drunks" revisited--the Jewish equivalent of nouveau honkytonk ("A Shiker Iz a Bloyzer-Shpiler [A drunk is a brass-player]," "Lekhaim, Efraim [Cheers, Frank]"). ***

Carnival Conspiracy [Piranha, 2005]
It's a conspiracy because it requires confederates. Without them, the trumpeting Klezmatic would lead one more blotto wedding band. Aided not just by such co-klezmerists as singing Klezmatic Lorin Sklamberg and singing Brave Old Worlder Michael Alpert but by a Brazilian drumming school and a Ukrainian avant-folksinger and nine Orthodox women set on defying the Orthodox ban on men hearing women sing, he unleashes track after track of internationalist anarchism. Lead elements shift, but every song partakes of the Eastern European breakout Gogol Bordello rocks so hard--and Gypsy-Jewish-Moorish myth London promotes so well. A-

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