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Metropolitan Klezmer

Traveling Show reviews

Great fun and a mix of deliriously danceable tunes along with some quieter, more haunting material… As befits New York’s best klezmer band, the musicianship is breathtakingly good.
Lucid Culture read full review

Metropolitan Klezmer, one of the finest American klezmer bands, deliver a varied, highly enjoyable set of both traditional klezmer and swinging Jewish jazz, as befits Klezmer’s roots as Jewish diaspora music.
Mike Gerber, Songlines, June 2008

Metropolitan Klezmer is highly skilled, but with a sense of humor. Traveling Show works equally well as an introduction of klezmer or as a treat for those who already love the music.
RAMBLES Magazine read full review

One of the most important discoveries I’ve made is Metropolitan Klezmer and their latest release, Traveling Show, a live recording that encompasses a wide range of musical tastes that truly has something for everybody. The band’s energy and interaction with a very appreciative audience put this at the top of my list of live Klezmer recordings.

Traveling Show really has two meanings: The band as it is heard “on the road” while touring, as well as the global roots of the repertoire, North American, Eastern European, Balkan, Latin, and Soviet Yiddish Theater. All are represented with truth, originality, and musicality.

Metropolitan Klezmer does a marvelous job of taking medleys of well-known Klezmer songs and piecing together the best parts in stylistically creative ways, making mini-suites of these musical treasures. My favorite track on the album is “Baltic Blue,” an original composition by reed player Debra Kreisberg…

Traveling Show is at the top of my list for albums to recommend. It has every Jewish style and would be a great first album to buy if you are just starting to get into Klezmer/Jewish music. It’s got a home on my playlist for a long time to come. And who knows, maybe Traveling Show might be coming to your town.
Keith Wolzinger, Klezmer Podcast, April 3, 2008

…Hard-hitting traditional American klezmer is captured here live in front of an enthusiastic audience. Deborah Karpel’s expressive Yiddish theater-style vocals, a powerful horn section with the wonderul trombonist Reut Regev and the standout musicianship of violinist Michael Hess and clarinetist Debra Kreisberg result in a great party performance.

The program is indeed a traveling show, with a smorgasbord of influences that go way beyond the traditional and include reworked versions of songs from Broadway musicals, the occasional original and more than a few hints of swing and Latin. Their ‘Traveling Dreydls’ medley uniquely re-energizes two Chanukah classics, ‘I Had a Little Dreydl’ and ‘S’Vivon’…

… Originality, expert musicianship and a keen world music sensibility.
Elliott Simon, All About Jazz-New York (December 2007) read full review

Metropolitan Klezmer is an accomplished eight-piece band based in New York City whose repertoire ranges from traditional folk songs to klezified jazz tunes with a healthy dose of material drawn from Yiddish theatre and cinema. Utilizing tight arrangements borne of many years of playing together, with a healthy dose of improvisation to keep the material fresh, this engaging live set is highlighted by a moving rendition of “Mayn Rue Plats,” Morris Rosenfeld’s classic labor song, and an exciting final medley of Rumanian tunes.
MR, “Sing Out!” magazine, Vol. 51 #3, Autumn 2007

This feisty NYC-based octet, together twelve years and counting, is known for its encyclopedic range of Yiddish sounds. The group delivers an excellent 18-track live set punctuated by the ‘Klezbonus’ cut “Comes Love,” from their sister sextet offshoot, Isle of Klezbos.
CURVE Magazine

There used to be two complaints about live rock albums. Either the band just played their greatest hits exactly as they had on record – who needs a live recording that’s nothing but a reprise of the studio, only with the mistakes intact? Or they indulged their arty sides with long, dull solos. Old-line klezmer wasn’t as much of an improviser’s art as, say, jazz, but contemporary New Klez is much more so. And that means that a live set like this new one from the Metros is welcome. The band swings hard, everyone has ample solo room and plenty to say. There’s even a track from Eve Sicular’s other band, Isle of Klezbos. In short, this is what a live set should be. Great fun. Rating: 5 stars.
George Robinson, Jewish Week
[and in Jewish Journal of Greater LA, plus Detroit Jewish News]

OUTRAGEOUSLY FANTASTIC!! Metropolitan Klezmer has done it again! A fresh and exciting new klezmer album that needs to be in the collection of every klezmer music lover…
Barry Reisman, WNWR Philadelphia

English translation of the TRAVELING SHOW review published in June 2007 by MazzMusikaS (Belgium),
based on the original Flemish text with translation mainly by Tinne Grolus:

It’s been four years since, totally unexpectedly, I received the cd’s “Surprising Finds” by Metropolitan Klezmer and “Greetings From The Isle Of Klezbos,” by their sister-band (and you can take that literally because the band consists of six women), Isle of Klezbos. Talking about a ‘surprising find’…! My review from that time – still quoted on their website – says that they are the absolute top in their music-style. Well, this is still true. To refresh your memory I will give you some information about the band.

It is an eight-person klezmer ensemble from New York. With “Traveling Show” they have created their fourth cd. After three marvelous studio-cd’s, they’ve come up with an almost 79 minute-long live recording of a concert from July 2006. “Traveling Show” lets us hear what this group is capable of live on-stage, and that’s a lot! Their approach of the music-style is very refreshing, mainly because of the differenceness of styles that they let us hear. The influences go from Eastern European music, with some pure Balkan and blazing wedding dance music, all sorts of Mediterranean music, folk in all its forms, swing, South-American tango, Eastern and Arabic music, show-tunes from Yiddish film musicals.Metropolitan Klezmer sounds like a genuine big band that could heat every wedding-party but that also comes forward in a subtle and virtuosic manner, especially through the sublime arrangements, musical craftsmanship and outstanding singing. As a bonus after the live show you get a gift: an extra track of Isle Of Klezbos, “Comes Love,” a song recorded in November 2004. I think that it’s time to get this band to Europe (this month they come to Vienna). Then we could party together! (BV)
MazzMusikaS (Belgium)

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