Mazeltones / Dancing with the Little Ones

Review | Personnel | Songlist/sound samples

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2012 Third Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
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Album cover: kids dancing in a magen david drawn on a sidewalk. Mazeltones
Dancing with the Little Ones

Popover Productions, 1996 PP-D4000

2012 Third Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
E-mail Mazeltones

I have a soft spot in my heart for Seattle's redoubtable Mazeltones. They are one of the oldest klez revival bands around, and they have always provided a humor and a variety that are better than the best of local klezmer bands. Their first cassette, Seattle, Tacoma cover"Seattle, Tacoma," on Global Village provided a humorous updating of the Aaron Lebedeff favorite: "Seattle, Seattle, where bridges fall down and it rains all year 'round" (or something like that).

That humor hasn't deserted them over the years. On this album's title tune, Wendy Marcus sings "Oh I've been chasing after children / Since a quarter after five / ... / And people wonder why I sometimes / Like to travel with the band." If anything, the band's ability to tap into what it means to be young and Jewish and living a "Jewish" life has broadened that sense in all of their audiences. To close, they remember their roots with a hilarious "Rasputin" ("All that seems distant / all that seems far / from those wonderful days / in the palace of the Czar")

True to the goal of diversity, the band does a lovely Barry-Sisters-dich "Eshet Khayil" (not my favorite song, but my favorite music to these lamentable words) bringing that 50s jazz-klez fusion to life, then follow several more traditional klezmer tunes, interspersed with several Sephardic and Mizrahi tunes--notably "Laner V'Livsamim", which I first heard performed by one of Israel's popular '70s borekas bands Tzlilei Hakerem, and "Jo Hanino," a Sephardic folk song.

All-in-all, once again the Mazeltones strike a balance between it all, while only becoming better musicians through the years. Whatever it is, they play it well and with verse. This latest recording is delightful, as usual, and still, just a little better than the one before, "Ay vunder iber vunder...."

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 7/19/95

Personnel this recording:
Wendy Marcus: violin, vocals
David Hirsch: bass, vocals
Charlie Nordstrom: drums, percussion
Pat Spaeth: accordion, vocals, recorder, percussion
Shawn Weaver: woodwinds, mandolin, guitar, percussion
Will Dowd: drums (Purim medley)
Marcus Duke: piano (Purim Medley

Rabbi Jim Mirel: performs as schedule permits

  1. Yiddishe Neshome (Friedsell/Gilrod) 2:59
  2. Eshes Chayil (trad., arr. after Barry Sisters) 5:36
  3. Rebbes Waltz (trad.) 2:01
  4. Dancing with the Little Ones (music: Shawn Weaver, words; David Hirsch) 3:21
    Download a RealAudio 3.0 clip from this song (~79K)
  5. Wedding Medley (trad., Carlebach, trad.) 4:03
  6. Zol noch zayn Shabbos (music: Shalom Secunda / words: Hyman Roisenblatt) 3:44
  7. Moldavian Hora (V. Belufa) 2:12
  8. Boogich Bulgar (Jack Boogich) 2:27
  9. Tumbalalaika (trad.) 3:40
  10. Terk in America (Naftule Brandwein) 4:12
    Download a RealAudio 3.0 clip from this song (~78K)
  11. Jo Hanino (trad.) 2:56
  12. Sei Yona/Tinten Binat (trad.) 3:03
    Download a RealAudio 3.0 clip from this song (~75K)
  13. Laner V'Livsamim words: Rabbi Shalom Shabazi, 17th cent. C.E.; music: Avihu Medina) 2:25
  14. Grandma's Dreidel (Mickey Katz) 2:22
  15. Rasputin/Korabushka (trad.) 4:00
  16. Hob ich a por Oxen (trad., add'tl lyrics Shira Danielle & Eve Marianne) 3:10
  17. Purim Medley (Shawn Weaver) 4:37

More sounds available in AIFF formats from the band's web page.

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