Washtenaw Jewish News
By Sandor Slomovits, staff writer
Heartland Klezmorim’s first CD, Gut Morgn, is a compilation of one hundred percent kosher klezmer instrumental tunes, mostly traditional, relatively familiar tunes. Their arrangements also rely, for the most part, on a traditional klezmer sound. The playing is impeccable. As you might expect from a married couple—both of whom are highly trained musicians—the unison melody lines between Klein’s trumpet or cornet, and Garber’s violin mesh very precisely, and create a unique, very pleasing blend. When they solo, their sound is gorgeous, soulful and, depending on the tune, energetic and lively.
Heartland Klezmorim’s rhythm section lays down crisp and tight grooves for the dance tunes, and supplies just right atmospheric backing on the slow, arrhythmic doinas. Where HK pushes the klezmer envelope is with the rest of their instrumentation.
Banjo has been considered a klezmer instrument in the modern klezmer revival since the late 1970s (mostly due to Henry Sapoznik’s not inconsiderable influence, though as he learned, American klezmer bands were already incorporating it into their sound by the 1920s) but it’s still not that commonly heard in klezmer music—the dobro even less so.
But both these instruments sound completely at home on several tunes on Gut Morgn, including on one of the two legendary clarinetist Naftule Brandtwein’s melodies. Oh, and I can’t forget to say a word about their CD cover art—beautiful. All in all, Gut Morgn serves up a delicious musical blend of energizing, wakeup java, and soothing, calming, comfort food.
Heartland Klezmorim performs concerts and private events of all kinds, from traditional Hanukkah service to bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, weddings and folk festivals around Michigan.