The Burning Bush,
Klezmer & Hassidic Music
(ARC, 1998)

While klezmer music has characteristics that define its style, I have discovered that no two klezmer bands sound alike. From the manic energy of Frank London to the retro, cool and jazzy Klezmer Conservatory to the funky and experimental sound of the Klezmatics, each is distinctive.

What the Burning Bush brings to the music on their CD Klezmer & Hassidic Music is classical polish. The crisp, clean clarity of each note focuses your attention on the music as a listening experience.

The musicians are Roderick Skeaping (violin, viola, arrangements), Ben Harlan (clarinet, percussion), Lucie Skeaping (violin), Robert Levy (double bass), Kevin Street (accordion, trumpet) and Geoff Smith (hammered dulcimers). Most have classical training in their backgrounds, and the influence shows in the presentation.

This is not to say that the music lacks passion. It is extraordinarily atmospheric and energetic, blending in a number of influences smoothly. For example, I could easily imagine a silent film set to "Freylekhs," and it would be a film where the playful music would dictate the action rather than the reverse.

The CD also includes several Hassidic melodies that range from somber and slow to exuberant. As in all the tracks, the Burning Bush performs them with clarity and nuance. They pay attention to the details, the underlying emotion and passion of the music, and the result is a sublime listening experience.

- Rambles
written by Donna Scanlon
published 15 March 2003

Buy it from