Salomon Klezmorim / A Dreydl

Album cover: Mediocre type and an ugly dreidel. Much, much better naif drawings inside.

Salomon Klezmorim
A Dreydl

Syncoop 5756 CD 195, 1996

I first heard about the Salomon Klezmorim in a review of klezmer bands that were pushing the traditional envelope. The other example was the Klezmatics, so I was a little bit surprised when I listened the group's first album, First Klez and heard a pleasant mix of traditional European-style klez with some nice jazz influences. The years passed, and most of my records and tapes are in storage while I travel, and into my hands falls this latest effort by the band. I like it!

The group is now a trio, and the sound is more traditional from what I remember. Even better, there is no thump thump drum--just clarinet/sax, violin, accordion. Perfect! But, more fun, this album consists of wonderful medleys of traditional tunes interspersed with a ganze megilla of Jewish stories and legends. It's the same sort of program that dozens of klezmer revival bands around the world tell--a mix of music and context and storytelling, to an audience that is looking not just for music, but an entire "Jewish" fix. One difference is that Salomon Klezmorim aren't just a local band. They are very, very good, and even though my Dutch is less than perfect (nonexistent), the result is delightful. And it doesn't matter. This recording is mostly music--a bit of that music is just Marcel Salomon's storytelling voice. (And yes, there are still strong jazz influences from time to time, especially when the band stretches, or on that lovely, smoky ending version of "Der Rebbe Elimelech".) I can't wait to see the band at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto (Aug. 1997) and see how much of this theatre and stage show typify their current performance, or whether they'll treat us to a progressive straight-ahead klezmer-jazz fusion.

So, if I had a choice, I think I'd still go for an all-music album (unless my Dutch improves), but regardless of language, this is a fun one for kids (regardless of whether or not they understand Dutch--kids seem to be able to figure out all languages), and certainly a delight, overall. As I type this part, I can hear distress and a train whistle (the liner notes refer to a story about the arrival of the first steam engine in a small village) and lo, that leads right into the Boyberiker Hora (with lots borrowed from "I love you too much"), a composition by the Dutch band, Boyberiker Kapelye.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 8/21/97

Personnel this recording:
Marcel Salomon: Storyteller, vocals, clarinet, alto sax
Theo van Tol: accordion
Nienke Lootsma: violin


  1. Der Kunstnmacher (based on a story by IL Peretz) + A malke oyf paysach (L. Gilrod); Sha, shtil un nit gezorgt (trad.); Yidishe Chusidl (J. Frankel); Eliyahu (trad.) 13:22
  2. Vu zaynen mayne zibn yor? (D. Meyerowitz) 2:03
  3. Tayere malkele (N. Sternheim) 4:30
  4. Het wonder van Josjanna Rabba (based on a story by Shalom Aleichem) + Di ban (A. Z. Idelsohn collection); Boyberiker hora (Boyberiker Kapelye); Zibn Firtsik (trad.) 10:58
  5. Tentsl (trad.) 2:20
  6. Araber tants (trad.) 3:24
  7. Twee liedjes voor driehonderd roebel including Mocirita cu trifoi (trad.); Voliner Bulgar (trad.); Nisht geshtoygn, nisht gefloygen (trad./v. Tol); Der yid der shmid (V. Heifetz) 18:51
  8. A simche (trad.) 2:17
  9. Drey dreydele (trad./M. Oysher) 3:05
  10. Anatevka (medley from "Fiddler on the Roof," music: J. Bock/S. Friedberg) 12:40
  11. Az der rebbe Elimelech (trad.) 2:15

to top of page To top of page

the KlezmerShack Ari's home page
to About the Jewish-music mailing list
to The Klezmer Shack main page
to Ari Davidow's home page