Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953: Classic Yiddish 78s from the Mayrent Collection
If you think my double review posting of today on this site has a particular design, you would be right. The message is peace through music. I don't need to elaborate.
We look today at a rather marvelous 3-CD set Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953: Classic Yiddish 78s from the Mayrent Collection (JSP Records 5201). It's a wide-ranging smorgasbord of Yiddish music as it came to be in the New York of the turn-of-the-century and covers well its gradual incorporation of jazz and popular elements over the years while never losing its roots. There are well-loved traditional melodies, Cantorial gems, unusual combinations and Yiddish popular songs and humor. So you have Yiddish theater star Aaron Lebedeff, the Abe Schwartz Orchestra, Morris Goldstein, Sophie Tucker, the Bagelman Sisters, Naftule Brandwein, Clara Gold, Molly Picon, and any number of Cantors and other artists now perhaps little known doing what they did in a masterful transfer to digital audio that brings the sound and inflection of the music to us in as bright a sound as I've heard.
It may not be for the novice listener, or if it is, it has to be one with the patience to absorb such a huge assortment of authentic sides in styles that may sound rather unfamiliar today. Any lover of the music of the era will revel in this collection, as I most certainly did. And the comedy!! This is so much a part of the roots of New York that it is as essential as stories of Babe Ruth, old pictures of Coney Island or the literature of the Harlem Renaissance.