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04 January 2008

Review: Who Stole The Kishka?!

Review: Who Stole The Kishka?!
Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band

Who Stole The Kishka?! is the latest album by New Jersey-based Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band. The band started in 1984 and has been very active in the area’s music scene. The album’s 17 songs cover a lot of territory, as they touch on the Jewish styles from around the world (but with an American flair).

Goldberg is the soul of the group, providing all the arrangements, as well as performing on Accordion, Piano, Bass, Electronic Bouzouki (Yes!), and Vocals.

Among my favorite tunes on the album are Meron Nigun, which features the Trumpet/Sax (a combination I found enjoyable throughout the album) and some nice percussion, as well as my first taste of the Electronic Bouzouki, which I have come to appreciate as an alternative to the more conventional mandolin/guitar/banjo. Avinu Waltz is a nice piece that flows gently and features Trumpet/Sax and Clarinet/Sax, and some nice accordion. Otchi Chornia is a favorite Russian-style song, with some great Piano/Accordion. Check out the Piano accompaniment behind the Sax solo! I’ve been a fan of Yiddish Charleston for a long time, and the band does a great job with this American-style tune. Turk In America is my favorite clarinet feature. It also has some great percussion, and Goldberg keeps busy on Electronic Bouzouki/Bass/Accordion.

If you like Polka, check out Sax Polka. It’s a great Sax/Trumpet/Accordion piece. I didn’t quite get it at first, but after listening to it a few times I came to appreciate this tune and the authenticity the band brings to it. The title track, Who Stole The Kishka?!, is the other Polka-style song here, and features Goldberg on the Vocal.

There are other Vocals to be found here, including Klezmer Medley, a collection of well-known Yiddish songs, O’Mamme, Bin Ich Farliebt, Israeli Medley, and Oif’n Pripetshik.

The CD insert is a two-sided sheet with four paragraphs about the music and the band. I did find band member bios on the group’s website, though.

Odessa Klezmer Band is a group the values the American Klezmer style, and it comes across in this recording. As to the answer for Who Stole The Kishka?! you’ll just have to listen to find out!

Keith Wolzinger
Klezmer Podcast

Who Stole The Kishka?!
Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band

Odessa Klezmer Band

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