The Cracow Klezmer Band: Remembrance (2007)
For the past ten years, accordionist Jaroslaw Bester and the Cracow Klezmer Band have been the premiere Poland-based klezmer/jazz ensemble. As the title implies, Remembrance is a look backward at the band's history and as members have moved on to other projects, a parting token of appreciation to their fans.
For people who have knowledge of the band's previous Tzadik releases, the songs will be familiar as will the dark rich sound and stunning musicianship. For those that don't, this live performance from 2005 offers a broad sampling of their repertoire that, while heavy on pathos, beautifully conveys klezmer's mixture of laughter and tears. Bester and Oleg Dyyak each use large Russian "bayan -type accordions that produce a strikingly pure tone, especially in the lower registers.
Dyyak also is a percussionist and clarinetist and combined with Jaroslaw Tyrala's violin and Wojciech Front's bass, the group achieves a classically precise chamber feel that showcases elegant melodies and arrangements in the context of an exciting delivery for a thrilling performance. This last offering from the Cracow Klezmer Band serves as a fitting Remembrance to a group who played a pivotal role in the emergence of a newly vitalized Jewish music.
Track Listing: Recollections Of The Past; The Migration Of Souls; Memento Mori; The Tree Of Life; Klezmer Rhapsody; The Prayer; Awaiting; The Colours Of The Heavens; A Devilish Tale.
Personnel: Jaroslaw Bester: bayan; Oleg Dyyak: bayan, clarinet, percussion; Wojciech Front: double bass; Jaraslaw Tyrala: violin.
Record Label: Tzadik