December 28, 2006
Good albums drown out naysayers’ dire predictions
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Andy Statman: "East Flatbush Blues" (Shefa); "Awakening From Above" (Shefa). As if there were any doubt, these two magnificent CDs prove definitively that Statman is 1) the best mandolin player on the planet; 2) one of the greatest klezmorim since Dave Tarras died.
"East Flatbush" is an elegant, jazzy and often funny return to bluegrass for Statman, while "Awakening" is a further exploration of Chasidic themes and tunes. Each of these sets is sublime in its way, and bassist Jim Whitney and drummer Larry Eagle are nothing less than brilliant accompanying Statman.
Recorded more or less at the same time and occasionally in the same setting (the sanctuary of Derech Emunah in the Village), these sets complement one another beautifully. Both are an absolute must. Available over the Internet.
And don't forget these excellent CDs: "Jewish String Quartets" (Milken Archives/Naxos); Mickey Katz: "Mish Mosh" (Renaissance); available from Hatikvah Music by phone (323) 655-7083, or online at www.hatikvahmusic.com; "The Rough Guide to the Music of Israel" (Rough Guide/World Music Network); "Shalom Comrade! Yiddish Music in the Soviet Union, 1928-1961" (Wergo).
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