THE KLEZMORIM > Disko > Metropolis > Reviews 

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... unique.
            — musicHound WORLD

Flawless ensemble playing... breakneck virtuosity... deeply soul-stirring... profound understanding of the complex harmonies and rhythms which underlie klezmer music.
            — 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 resist.
            — 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 dancing.
            — 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.
            — Downbeat

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 performances are.
            — 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 soul.
            — Modern Recording & Music