Review: The Klezical Tradition - Family Portrait


Album Cover - Family Portrait
Family Portrait
 Artist: The Klezical Tradition
 Album: Family Portrait
 Date of Release: 1998
 Label: Pvt. Release
 Cat. No.:  
 Country of Release: Can
 Genre/s: World | Jewish | Trad.

 Sub-Genre/s: Klezmer, Yiddish
 Type: Studio
   Time: 59:44
   Date of Review: 2003/02/20
   Contact: email
   Web Site:

Purchasing Info

Family Portrait Intimacy In The Klezical Tradition

It has been my great good fortune, and indeed priviledge, to finally get my sticky fingers on The Klezical Tradition's album, Family Portrait.

TKT's principal members on this album need little introduction to seasoned klezmer afficionados, I'm sure, but their outstanding performances can't be praised highly enough in my opinion. Flautist Adrianne Greenbaum has few peers on her instrument, in any genre of music (and having heard some of her classical performances as well only underscores this opinion), not merely a masterful virtuoso with a flawless technique but moreover an artist of outstanding musicianship and depth. Violinist Cookie Segelstein, vocalist Fraidy Katz, and clarinetist Walter Mamlok make for a magnificent complementary team, all artists of rare ability, talent and depth, as they all prove so consistently throughout this wonderful album. Together, they make for a very finely honed instrument, and one senses a great intimacy among the players, facilitating such fine ensemble playing. A very fine cast of supporting musicians rounds things off beautifully.

The music itself in turns swings, serenades, and tells its stories eloquently. There is, overall, a wonderful atmosphere of turn of the 19th/early 20th century Europe, often of the cafe and cabaret society of the early decades of the last century. Yiddish theatre and traditional songs interspersed with short snippets of narration in Yiddish, and a variety of klezmer tunes create a great sense of intimacy and heymishkayt at the same time. There are many familiar favourites, given wonderful, sensitive new interpretations, other tunes are new to me and a wonderful discovery.

Family Portrait is music for the ear as well as the heart and soul, and yes, the feet as well. It touches deeply, as if striking familiar chords in a long forgotten corner of the memory.

The Family Portrait concept works beautifully, and is further supported by a beautifully designed booklet featuring old portraits of the musicians and their families. The liner notes are extensive and well thought out. They include the song lyrics in Yiddish, romanized Yiddish, and English translation, as well as a brief glossary of some of the most common terms in Yiddish klezmer parlance, the latter a great help in making things accessible for those as yet unfamiliar with them. The Klezical Tradition invite the listener into their family parlour and welcome him or her with the most charming and rare familiarity and intimacy. Open your heart in turn and enjoy this gorgeous music and wonderful experience. You will be richly rewarded, whatever your musical preferences or tastes, for great music such as this is simply universal.

If you haven't got this outstanding recording already, I would urge you to grab it while you can.

© 2003 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. Araynfir - 1:15
 2. Libe Lebovics Segelstein - 0:25
 3. Naftule Shpilt Far Dem Rebn - 3:16
 4. Shulem Aleykhem - 3:35
 5. Prinz Carol Sirba - 2:50
 6. Esther Bluma Russak Krakowski - 0:29
 7. Hulyet, Hulyet, Kinderlekh - 2:18
 8. Unter Beymer - 3:03
 9. Rumanian Fantasy #3 - 1:55
10. Sirba Hasapiko - 1:42
11. Margaritkelekh - 4:00
12. Greenbaum's Doyna - 2:12
13. Chazin's Sirba - 0:47
14. A Heymish Freylekhs - 1:18
15. Anna Rosenzweig Povodator - 0:26
16. Russian Sher/'Kh Vil Nisht Aza Khosn - 6:05
17. Di Boyberike Khasene, Hora - 2:31
18. Di Goldene Khasene - 1:30
19. Oy Tate, S'iz Gut! - 3:05
20. Di Rayze Nokh Amerike/Eyder Ikh Leyg Zikh Shlofn - 4:56
21. Yidish Redt Zikh Azoy Sheyn - 3:32
22. Der Shtiler Bulgar - 1:48
23. Yosl, Yosl - 3:14
24. Ay Di Day - 3:05

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Adrianne Greenbaum, flute
Fraidy Katz, vocals
Walter Mamlok, clarinet
Cookie Segelstein, violin

Jim Andrews, Brian Bender, Rick Boyar, Lynn Lovell, Gary Ritchinsky, The Klezical Tradition Mishpokhe


Purchasing Info:

can be purchased:
Direct from Adrianne Greenbaum via email

Online from FluteWorld

From Jewish Music Distribution JMD UK

From Hatikvah Music International (US)

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