Amsterdam Klezmer Band: Bomba Pop

Klezmer fusion set reminding of Ibiza and Eurovision is occasionally redeemed by richly toned trombone and accordion passages

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The traditional Jewish music klezmer has had something of a resurgence over the last number of years, often being linked to and even amalgamated with other music, notably jazz – understandably perhaps, given the instrumentation and the use of minor keys.

Apparently recorded and mixed at various places including Vienna, Toronto and in the Netherlands, the music here incorporates different styles and pins elements of klezmer to them, and after the first few bars it’s hats in the air and party time.

Although there are occasional glimpses outside this, especially richly toned trombone and accordion passages, these are brief as the music becomes repetitive and choral backing intervenes: Ibiza holiday singalong.

The first few tracks follow a similar style and it’s a trial waiting for respite. The slower paced Joey’s Hora offers some hope with more distinct contributions – glissandi with a melancholy edge from accordion, horns and vocals, but not for long – back to the knees-up. Fire is essentially a pop/rock number, sounding like it’s been conjured up for the Eurovision Song Contest and On Mala’s descending cadences with snippets of distant instruments soon resumes its relentless beat and repetition.

There are occasional grounds for optimism – the ska beat of Sirens Of Amsterdam briefly recalls the arrangements of Kid Creole, muted horns growling and trombone behind the beat; close horn riffing on the techno-meets-klezmer of Photophobia; a more traditional instrumental approach and lyrics of contemporary social relevance on A Greater Plan. Ellen Van Vliet’s accordion on Just A Thought is regretfully short. Disappointing.

Discography
Do It In Amsterdam; Choices And Consequences; Bomba; Joey’s Hora; Fire; On Mala; Just A Thought; Sirens Of Amsterdam; Photophobia; A Greater Plan; Mesafesofi; The Journey And The Traveller (42.23)
Jasper De Beer (b, g, bjo); Job Chajes (as, f, v); Alec Kopyt (pc, v); Gijs Levelt (t); Joop Van Der Linden (tb, g, saz, pc); Janfie Van Strien (cl, ss, ts, bar); Ellen Van Vliet (acc); Ulf Lindemann (d, syn, kyb, pc); Amina Wijntje, Carelain Bergtop, Elisabeth Neunteufl, Brenna MacCrimmon, Ratja Poltavets, Aliosha Biz (v); Aron Eredics (tambura). Various places, no dates.
Vetnasj Records VTSNJ2024002