Entertainment Weekly - 4/11/97, p.85
"...These performances...capture the influential virtuoso at an early peak, coaxing out twisting phrases draped in a yearning tone that imbues his instrumental wizardry with a profoundly emotional tinge. The superior remastering is also worthy of its subject."
- Rating: A
Personnel includes: Naftule Brandwein (clarinet).
Recorded between December 1922 and April 1941. Includes liner notes by Henry Sapoznick.
Personnel: Naftule Brandwein (clarinet); Louis Spielman (trombone).
Liner Note Author: Henry Sapoznik.
Recording information: 12/??/1922-04/25/1941.
Photographer: Henry Sapoznik.
Unknown Contributor Role: Jack Towers.
Modern klezmer is unthinkable without clarinet terror Naftule Brandwein, who unleashed his prodigious but unschooled talent on New York City's professional Jewish musical community in the early 20th century. This exceptional collection of remastered 78 rpm sides mostly issued for the first time between 1922 and 1926 demonstrates the melodic intensity of Brandwein's improvisational style plus his trademarked weightless swoops. The sheer note density of his playing also amazes, plus the degree to which he dominates every one of these recordings. Some ascribe much of his success to grandstanding on-stage decked out in a neon sign or Uncle Sam attire. But listen to these tracks, then elsewhere to cover versions by the likes of the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band and even 3 Mustaphas 3, and note that the originals were so modern that these contemporary bands pay tribute with near note-for-note emulations. These are remarkable recordings. ~ Bob Tarte