CANTORS, KLEZMORIM AND CROONERS 1905-53: Classic Yiddish 78s from the Mayrent Collection (3CD Box set & 72 page booklet)
JSP (JSP 5201 )
Abe Schwartz Orchestra, Feder Sisters, Goldin Quartet, Solomon Smulewitz, Madame Sophie Kurtzer, Bagelman Sisters, Gus Goldstein, Michel Rosenberg, Sam Finkle, Fraydele Oysher, Isa Kremer, Naftule Brandwein, Molly Picon, Isa Kremer, Joe Hayman, Belle Baker and many more
The clean 78s used in this anthology come from the Mayrent Collection and Sherry Mayrent's introductory essay is a revelation. In fact the whole package is. You get three CDs (67 tracks) of Hebrew dances, Jewish vaudeville tunes, religious cantors, folk songs, clarinet instrumentals, Yiddish orchestras, dialect comedy and show music.
Sophie Tucker's here with My Yiddishe Momme, Naftule Brandwein plays some fiery clarinet on Der Heisser (Tarter Dance) as does Sam Finkle on his buoyant Dancing Should Be Danced. There's even a Yiddish version of Yes We Have No Bananas sung with feeling by Gus Goldstein! London's own Ambrose and His Orchestra perform a vibrant set of Hebrew Dances dating from 1945 then there's a lovely piece of Yiddish vaudeville by The Feder Sisters who sang it in the Catskills hotels, some spirited ragtime played on piano and cymbalin on Joseph Moskowitz's Operatic Rag and the Bagelman Sister's The Old Gipsy that allowed Dave Tarras to shine on clarinet.
The whole compilation was assembled by Grammy Award winning team of designer Susan Archie who created the hefty 72 page booklet, music historian Hank Sapoznik who supplied the highly informative notes and audio transfer wizard Christopher King who did his usual superb job with the remastering. A whole lot of love and care has been lavished on this project and JSP must be thrilled with the result because they've just produced a landmark reissue of Jewish music with all the respect it deserves. I can see another Grammy on the horizon for this!
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Price only £14.50 plus p&p here at Red Lick
Review Date: November 2009