Beyond the Pale (Klezmer): Eric Stein (mandocello, mandolin); Martin Van De Ven (clarinet, bass clarinet); Bret Higgins (acoustic bass guitar); Bogdan Djukic, Milos Popovic.
Personnel: Josh Dolgin (vocals, piano); Eric Stein (mandocello, mandolin); Bogdan Djukic (violin, percussion); Milos Popovic (accordion).
Additional personnel: Yeva Medvedyuk (vocals); Josh Dolgin.
Audio Mixers: Jeff Elliott; Ormond Jobin.
Recording information: Al Green Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (01/24/2004/01/25/2004).
Editor: Danny Greenspoon.
Photographer: Josh Dolgin.
Arranger: Beyond the Pale .
The Pale was the name for a limited geographical area of Tsarist Russia within which Jews were allowed to live. So Beyond the Pale is the perfect name for a band that plays klezmer music (the jazzy folk music of Eastern European Jewry) but refuses to be bound by traditional stylistic limitations. And a live recording is the perfect way to experience Beyond the Pale's joyful, sophisticated, and frequently humorous music. Led by mandolinist Eric Stein, the group takes you on a tour of klezmer music past and klezmer music future. There are songs both touching (a Yinglish song of unrequited love titled "Oy, I Like She") and hilarious (the slightly risqu‚ music hall song "Halevaye," here reworked into a galloping ska groove and retitled "Skalavaye"), as well as original instrumentals of both scintillating energy ("Reunion") and quiet, bittersweet beauty ("Moses Nign," "Bulcharescu"). Not a single track is weak, obvious, underplayed, or overplayed -- Consensus is probably the best klezmer album of 2004. ~ Rick Anderson