Margot Leverett
The Art of Klezmer Clarinet
Traditional Crossroads (

Margot Leverett, late of the Klezmatics, brings her understated approach to playing and arranging to this, her first solo album. Her chosen ensemble sound is usually similar to that of the Dave Tarras small combos (as opposed to the wilder sound of 1920's orchestras from New York). Her particular mentor is Sid Beckerman, one of the last links to the pre-revival klezmer world. The album reflects her debt and how she has created her own sound.

Leverett's unassuming musical nature partially masks some of the virtuosity but not her very soulful playing. The slow paced "walking" tunes are especially effective. Many of the cuts are standards, but with some neat twists in harmonization. A couple of the pieces are originals.

There are various combinations of accordion, bass, percussion, trombone (fine, wacky bass lines), and violin along with overdubbed obligattos of Leverett's sax. The album notes contain some biography but not much about the music. This is classic sound of Eastern European-derived clarinet played by a master and a worthy addition to the new generation of klezmer recordings. - Stacy Phillips

Audio: "Skocne" traditional, arranged by Leverett
© 2000 Traditional Crossroads

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