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15 September 2007

Review: The Golem of Bathurst Manor

The Golem Of Bathurst Manor by KlezFactor is a wonderful album of progressive jazz-influenced klezmer. Leader Mike Anklewicz takes the lead on a musical journey that is unique to the Toronto-based group. The album pays homage to the klezmer tradition with four well known klezmer tunes arranged to showcase KlezFactor’s signature sound. Anklewicz chooses saxophone rather than the traditional clarinet along with violin to create a different vibe. The use of electric guitar and electric bass completes the transformation to a style that is new and engaging to listen to.

Anklewicz shows his range on the six original compsitions he wrote for this album. From the progressive title track to the smooth sound of “Negev,” these originals are full of fresh ideas and styles. KlezFactor takes us to their world of first-rate musicianship, dynamic improvisation, and innovative arrangements.

I also have to mention the excellent production and engineering. The mix is great and the sound is detailed enough to hear the softest cymbal hits and background percussion.

If you like some jazz with your klezmer, or a little klezmer with your jazz, you would do well to check out Mike Anklewicz and KlezFactor. They certainly are a factor on the international Klezmer scene today.

The Golem Of Bathurst Manor
Standback Records, 2005

Keith Wolzinger
Klezmer Podcast