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Old Brooklyn

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

OLD BROOKLYN
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: April 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: VIRTUAL LABEL GROUP
  • ASIN: B005IY3DFC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,227 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Andy Statman Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the best yet!!! One of the best kept musical secrets in the country, the Andy Statman Trio is what American music is about. This album is the culmination of years of work and hundreds of concerts, and once again showcases Andy's virtuosity in both mandolin and clarinet.
You can't go wrong with the trio. Jim's smooth bass, Larry's versatile hands (and feet) on the drums (and whatever else he can get his hands on)- Not to mention some very gifted friends- this album has it all. From the sweet reflective tones of Andys clarinet to breakneck bluegrass and everything in between (no kitchen sink but they threw in the kettle- in true trio style). You don't have to love bluegrass (or klezmer,jazz,classic rock, country, blues...) to love this double cd set. Physically and spiritually uplifting often at the same time.
Last time a nomination- this time lets see a Grammy! Great work guys!!
Ari.

To get a visual feel for this check out their website Andystatman dot org, or their You Tube channel- derechamuno
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You open up the package, slip the CD in, and thirty seconds later, your jaw has already hit the floor. If you're a music junky, you're probably not going to leave the stereo until you finish hearing both CDs - all 25 songs and 1 hour, 36 minutes worth of top of the line, utterly masterful musicianship. Yeah, Andy Statman's new album, Old Brooklyn, is just that good. Statman has always been adept at coaxing the most out of both of his instruments - clarinet and mandolin - and here, he's joined by some of the greatest musical craftsmen in the American music world. (The guest list has so many stars it sparkles.) The sheer joy they draw out of each other is palpable. This double album has got it all: Creativity, tradition, humor, and incredible dexterity in searing solos. This album showcases the work of an all-time master.

The album is mandolin heavy, with just eight songs featuring Andy's clarinet. That also means that there is less klezmer than bluegrass, and jazz and blues are sprinkled in quite liberally as well. It's also a very uplifting and positive listening experience, as opposed to the unbelievable intensity - say even thick, Chassidic melancholy - Statman has showcased in the past. Don't get me wrong - I love that stuff too! But this just has a very different feel than quite anything he's done before. In fact, you may even say that is more accessible than any of his other albums.

In a word, Old Brooklyn is brilliant. Andy Statman has pulled off another work of genius to add to his world-class discography. While the bluegrass color certainly drives the album in that direction, there is enough subtle shifting, variety and color here even for those who do not necessarily love bluegrass.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Of all Andy Statman's previous recordings, Old Brooklyn reminds me most of Nashville Mornings, New York Nights (now out of print; it would be great to have this available again on CD or MP3). This new collection mixes klezmer-style pieces with bluegrass-style, performed by a relatively large ensemble. What makes the difference, aside from the pieces themselves, is that Old Brooklyn is on another level, as they say, musically, emotionally, and spiritually. Like Statman, many of the guest performers have been playing for decades, reflected in the force and emotion of their playing and improvising.

Most of the pieces are Statman compositions, and most of the balance are traditional tunes arranged by him. Some of the performers, in particular Paul Shafer and Marty Rifkin, according to the album notes were recorded separately, but this isn't evident from listening. The performances are terrific. Especially impressive and enjoyable is Larry Eagle's percussion, almost matching Statman's playing in mastery and inventiveness. This is especially evident, I think, in Statman's composition "The One in Nine," a kind of duet between clarinet and drums, anchored and driven by Jim Whitney's bass.

Other standout pieces are "The Lord Will Provide," a verbal expression of faith sung by Ricky Skaggs, echoed instrumentally by Statman on his clarinet; "Old Brooklyn," which to my ears combines the American bluegrass and Eastern European folk traditions in a single piece; and "Ocean Parkway After Dark," a Statman original with a catchy melody, tempo shifts, and improvisations--somehow, it reminds me of some Sephardi weddings I've attended in that general neighborhood.

An exceptional album, eclectic, with outstanding performances by wonderful musicians at the height of their powers. Very enjoyable, with much to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Andy Statman, who gave us mystical klezmer jazz with his excellent "Between Heaven and Earth," now blows me over with this two-disc album. I was first at a loss where in my collection to file the album: my Jewish and klezmer section of world music or within the country and bluegrass section. This amusing quandary proves again that all musicians are without borders, national and often genre. Statman, of course, has long experience in both musical styles (for instance, he was on Ricky Skaggs' Grammy recording, "Instrumentals") and here teaming up with Béla Fleck's banjo, Byron Berline's and Bruce Molsky's fiddles, Jon Sholle's and Marty Rifkin's steel guitars, and Ricky Skaggs' vocal, the album is more American than East European. To Statman's supporting musicians Jim Whitney, bass, and Larry Eagle on percussion, he added Paul Shaffer on keyboards, Lew Soloff playing trumpet, Art Baron on trombone and tuba, and Bob Jones on acoustic guitar. The music gives us touches of various blues, country dances, klezmer celebrations, a Greek dance, and rabbic niguns. Statman played clarinet on 8 tracks, but the mandolin is strong throughout. The musicianship as you would expect is grand, and the tunes are happy and sufficiently varied to maintain interest with surprises over the album's some 90 minutes. "Old Brooklyn" is a dazzling showcase of Statman's versatility.
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