The Odessa Klezmer Band was formed in 1998 by well-known figures of Hungarian folk-, world-, jazz and rock music. They discovered the folk music of Eastern-European Jews in the course of their work, - partly while collecting folk music in the Carpathian Basin, and partly while composing music for films, theatre and dance performances. As musicians, they were stunned by the beauty of the tunes, the uniqueness of performance, and by the peculiar instrumental ornamentation, which has a characteristic atmosphere - sometimes bitter, sometimes humorous and joking, or, at times, even ironic. They were also impressed by the ability with which the Jewish village performers could transform the music motifs of the people living beside them into their world of musical images, and last but not least by the playful and sometimes meditative improvisational skill which is manifest in their performance.
It would be impossible to list all those people who the Odessa Klezmer Band consider to be their masters. These musicians include H. Steiner, Max Liebovitz, Joseph Solinski, Abe Schwartz, Oscar Zehngut, Dave Tarras, Alex Fiedel, Art Shryer, Mishka Tsiganoff, Vasile . Rajna. Covaci from Maramures, and Avram Bughici from Moldavia, and, among those Hungarian folk musicians who preserved traces of this music, Iván Mádi from the Trans-Carpathian Ukraine, Béla Gáspár, Ferenc Árus, and Árpád Toni, from Transylvania.
The OKB reaches back to the old layer of Eastern European Jewish melodies, and strives for the most precise acquisition of the archaic style. It blends, however, tradition with new and modern music elements characteristic of all living folk music. This makes its style unique and authentic, while remaining faithful to the sound of the Jewish band from Toponár, as remembered in the poem by Csokonai Vitéz Mihály.
01 A rabbi tánca / The Rabbi's dance
02 A klezmer sóhaja / The sigh of Klezmer
03 A fidulás zsidó / Yidl with the fiddle
04 Hajnali dojna / Doina at dawn
05 Nagyapa tánca / Granddad's dance
06 Ifjak tánca / Youth's dance
07 Kárpáti menyasszony / Fiancée form the Carpathians
08 Kárpáti vőlegény / Fiancé from the Carpathian
10 Fáj a szívem, vigadj velem! / My heart aches, rejoice with me
12 Lassú és gyors / Slow and fast
13 Alkonyi dojna / Doina at dusk
14 Bölcsödal / Lullaby
15 D.J. Hasid
Béla Ágoston - clarinets, saxophones
Károly Babos - percussions
Mihály Huszár - double bass, accordion, bass guitar
Ferenc Kiss - koboz, viola, tambura, kaval, harmonica
Zsigmond Lázár - fiddle
Kati Szvorák - voice
László Fekete - The leading cantor of the Dohány street Synagogue - voice
Bence Huszár- trombone
János Mazura - tuba
Miklós Mákó - trumpet
Miklós Lukács - cymbal
Zoltán Szabó- bagpipe
D.J. Mango - scratch
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