Delightful... ecstatic... And it is wild!
— CMJ New Music Report
Holds the distinction as the only klezmer album to have been nominated for a
Grammy Award... strikingly sophisticated and ahead of its time.
— Seth Rogovoy, The Essential Klezmer
One of the earliest examples of the klezmer revival which would burst into
full flower in the late '80s, the Klezmorim's Metropolis is also one of
the very best. More than many of the subsequent bands that tended to inflect
the music with a touch of irony, this San Francisco-based group revels in the
sheer joy and touching sadness of klezmer. The arrangements are tight, the
instrumentation imaginatively deployed, and the playing is exuberant. From the
hallucinatory reels of the soprano sax/clarinet front line of "Bucharest" to
the doleful low horn lead of "The Tuba Doina," the group hits the exact mark
between the playful and the serious. Fans of the New York City klezmer scene,
nurtured by John Zorn and others, will greatly enjoy the freshness and verve of
this recording and may also appreciate the lack of postmodern references. For
listeners seeking a first exposure to the genre, it's difficult to think of a
better starting place.
— Brian Olewnick, All Music Guide
Metropolis captures the stirring, celebratory, and occasionally
maniacal energy of The Klezmorim at their peak... [showcasing their] evocative
re-creation of a Russian military marching band from the turn of the century;
the outfit is rhythmically relaxed yet cohesive, sounding as if they have been
playing together for decades... frenzied... frenetic... sinuous... beautiful...
— musicHound WORLD
Flawless ensemble playing... breakneck virtuosity... deeply soul-stirring...
profound understanding of the complex harmonies and rhythms which underlie
— Hartford Advocate, Connecticut
They certainly play like demons... Clarinetist Gray, saxophonist Liberman
and trombonist Linscott leave hardly a measure untouched by wild glissandos and
'blue note' slides... Raucous merriment prevails, with interludes of Oriental
dreaminess and an instrumental sound that often could be mistaken for the
blues... Few of the musical jokes that pepper this repertory fail to make their
point. The recording... has the impact of a head-on collision.
— Richmond Times-Dispatch
A winner... bright, snappy... The Klezmorim's usual party atmosphere.
— Oakland Tribune
The Klezmorim swing in a jaunty, heel-kicking way that is hard to
— Newhouse News Service
Excellent... Their interaction has developed to the level of a fine art...
Arrangements are spit-polished to perfection, making the most of modal
harmonies while dramatically manipulating dynamics.
— City Paper, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Another superb LP by the East Bay's nationally recognized klezmer music
sextet... hot... great stuff... rollicking good... Roll up your rugs and let
The Klezmorim's sounds roll out of your speakers — you'll be
— San Francisco Examiner
Liberman and Gray spin winding Oriental-sounding melody lines with sprightly
panache, but much of the band's punch springs from its fine brass section, with
tubaist Donald Thornton supplying the lumbering, Russian-bearish rhythms.
The Klezmorim capture the energy, vitality and poignancy of klezmer music
with great faithfulness. Each is a superb musician, and their ensemble playing
is extraordinary... For several years now The Klezmorim have toured
extensively, bringing this music to packed houses throughout the country, and
inevitably leaving crowds dancing, stomping and clapping in their wake. On
Metropolis, they have finally given us an album whose recording quality
matches the quality of their performances... [Their] soul music reaches out and
grabs the listener, pulling him through the gamut of emotions and back again...
moved to the point of toe-tapping, hand-clapping, passionate joy.
— Prairie Sun
Brilliant... stunning.... richly-textured... from melancholy meditations to
kinetic celebrations... Each musician gets a chance to show off on
Metropolis. Clarinetist David Julian Gray wails and swoops with almost
impossibly light fingers... Lev Liberman adds bawdy saxophone breaks... They
are masters of musical excitement.
— Leviathan, University of Southern California
The Klezmorim use brass instead of violins to capture the sense of the
jazz-flecked klezmer of the New York '20s — which sounds like John Philip
Sousa gone Yiddish. These are lovers of fine old wine...
— Village Voice
Droll... vodka-drenched... The Klezmorim are consistently crisp, keen
performers. Everything here was recorded without benefit of multiple tracks,
fancy overdubbing, or elaborate mixing at the console, yet it all sounds just
great. A recording of special merit.
— Stereo Review
Sophistication, verve and sheer musicality — a sure bet... Listening
to the complete album can leave you breathless — that's how energetic the
— Jewish World, Long Island, New York
Thunderously robust... captivating... gutsy, forcefully energetic... with a
tone that is at once sardonic and loving... sweetly delicate... A heady brew,
heroically sustained by each of these six dynamic musicians... Flying Fish
Records did a service for the American musical community by recording this
rousing young band with one foot in the past, the other strikingly in the
future... Music this soulful crosses all artificial boundaries of body and
— Modern Recording & Music