[Writing in 1981, Lev Liberman penned this liner-note manifesto:]
They lived like Gypsies and played like demons. You could find them stirring dancers to frenzy at a weeklong village wedding, marching in brass-buttoned splendor with the Tsar's military band, entertaining aristocrats at a Viennese spa, or jamming at a waterfront tavern in the Moldovanke, the thieves' quarter of Odessa.
They were called klezmorim and they had a style all their own, full of unorthodox tonalities and crazily-interlocking rhythms — the rollicking, vodka-soaked sound of a steam calliope gone mad.
The migrations of the restless twentieth century brought these accomplished musicians to the great cities of America. On the streetcorners of the metropolis, in mighty theatre orchestras, and finally in the studios of the fledgling recording industry, klezmorim blended their age-old instrumental tradition with the innovations of the Jazz Age to create a sound unrivaled in its rowdiness, passion, and tenderness.
We are The Klezmorim. We play klezmer music. It's been underground for fifty years. Now it's back!
File under: Folk or Jazz
Producer: Stuart Brotman
Engineer: Peter Sutheim
All arrangements © 1981 The Klezmorim (ASCAP)
Design and illustration © 1981 Daniel Ziegler
Back cover photograph © 1980 Judy Dater
Liner notes by Lev Liberman © 1981 The Klezmorim
Special thanks to Richard Foster
Recorded 3-7 February 1981 at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, California — except The Shepherd's Dream, recorded 13 March 1981 at Audio Engineering Associates, Pasadena, California.
All tunes were recorded directly onto two tracks without overdubbing or mixdown.
To aid in our research of the authentic settings and styles of klezmer music c. 1870-1930, we invite anyone having personal knowledge of klezmorim, or having access to klezmer manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, or 78-rpm discs, to write to us...