Dance Me to the End of Love by the Klezmer Conservatory Band
With 19 songs and nearly 70 minutes of music, this ranks among the Klezmer Conservatory Band's most extensive releases. Incorporating an eclectic range of influences, from Russian waltzes, Romanian Bulgars, and klezmer swing to traditional Jewish wedding tunes and a Leonard Cohen cover, a careful effort is made to preserve the legacies of those who came before them. With 11 members, they can certainly create a massive sound, though the collection is well balanced between roaring boisterous tracks and more somber, stripped-down pieces. However complex their sound may be, it certainly isn't cluttered, as "Skotshne #60 a la Merlin" and "Bukharester Bulgar" are only a few of the precisely crafted renditions here. More than anything, what comes through is a band that truly understands and enjoys recreating these highly evocative songs, as they beautifully portray the past struggles and joys of their cultural heritage. All in all, this band has ample room to spread out over the course of the disc, and you get to an authentic look at what the best band in klezmer has to offer.