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Rock 'n' roll yeshiva

Jews With Horns
Jews With Horns
By the Klezmatics

Xenophile Records: 1995

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This review first appeared in the November 17, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

This album could as easily have been titled "Jews With Attitudes." The Klezmatics' spirited melding of klezmer, the traditional Yiddish folk music of Eastern Europe, with the rock, funk and jazz influences of the members' native New York is cocky, danceable and, well, as fun as the best klezmer.

The double entendre of the title (playing both on the racist imagery of Jews supposedly having horns and the religious Jewish tradition of blowing a ram's horn during certain holy ceremonies) is indicative of the brash approach the Klezmatics bring to their syncopated musical stew.

Most of the songs here are traditional klezmer pieces, and the band's instrumentation is likewise traditional (clarinet, trumpet, violin, bass, accordion, drums, trumpet). Some of the songs are even played along the traditional lines, but others flat-out rock. Good stuff, all.