The Epstein Brothers Orchestra / Kings of Freylekh Land

Album cover: Three Epsteins and a Rubinstein, in b/w

The Epstein Brothers Orchestra
Kings of Freylekh Land
Wergo, 1995 LC6356

To call the new Epstein Brothers album, "Kings of Freylekh Land," is merely to state the obvious. Although the gang moved to Florida years ago to stay with their audience, they certainly haven't lost their swing or their repertoire. There is a sense of rhythm and a way that every note fits together that is a pleasure to just sit and listen to, even as your feet tap and you realize that the beat is perfect for dancing a whole wedding long.

This isn't to say that Max doesn't bust his chops a bit on the obligatory "Doina," or that there aren't a comfortable number of show tunes mixed in--I especially like the way the Olshanetsky Medley starts off with "I love you too much," a true Yiddish theatre tear jerker (and a favorite by the Jewish singalong group I attend after Havdalah every so often). But, mostly, this is an album featuring the best of a rich repertoire of American Klezmer music--show music, Gypsy bulgars, and all--played by musicians who have lived it for more decades than I've been alive. A real pleasure!

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 7/5/96

Personnel this recording:
Max Epstein
: B-flat clarinet
Julius Epstein: drums and percussion
William Epstein: trumpet and flugelhorn
Danny Rubinstein: tenor and alto sax
Peter Sokolow: piano
Pat Merola: string bass

  1. Beresh Katz' Bulgar (trad., arr. Epstein Brothers) 3:34
  2. Mitzve Tants (pts. 1,3 trad; pt. 2 Max Epstein; arr. Epstein Brothers) 4:03
  3. Olshanetsky Medley (Alexander Olshanetsky; arr. Epstein Brothers) 6:33
  4. Hasidic Medley (trad., arr. Epstein Brothers) 3:25
  5. Fotta-Poppa & Shtekelekh (trad.; arr. Sokolow) 2:59
  6. Cabaret Songs & Gypsy Bulgar (trad., arr. Epstein Brothers) 8:00
  7. Hora & Sirba (trad., arr. Sokolow) 4:59
  8. Epstein's Doina (pt. 1 Max Epstein, pt. 2 trad., pt. 3 Israel Schorr; arr. Epstein Brothers) 5:28
  9. Moskowitz' Sirba (trad.; arr. Sokolow) 4:07
  10. Romanian Drinking Song & Kalarash (trad., arr. Epstein Brothers) 4:37
  11. T'khies Ha-Meysim / Resurrection of the Dead (pts. 1 & 3 trad., pt. 2 Epstein Brothers; arr. Epstein Brothers) 6:24
  12. Keshenever Shtikele (trad., arr. Epstein Brothers) 3:09
  13. Hungarian Melodies (trad., Szentirmay, Lányi; arr. Epstein Brothers) 6:47
  14. Silkene Pajamas & Epstein Nign (trad.; arr. Sokolow/Epstein Brothers) 2:24

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