The Epstein Brothers Orchestra Kings of Freylekh Land: A Century of Yiddish-American Music

Epstein Brothers Kings of Freylekh Land CD cover

The Epstein Brothers Orchestra
Kings of Freylekh Land:
A Century of Yiddish-American Music
(Schott Wergo SM 1611-2; Mainz, 1995)

Kings of Freylekh Land contains the music to the award-winning full-length documentary film portrait, “A Tickle in the Heart,” written by Joel Rubin and Rita Ottens with Stefan Schwietert (Germany/USA/Switzerland, 1996). The dynamic and multi-faceted music of the Epstein Brothers, recipients of the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship from the US National Endowment for the Arts (1998), represents an exciting journey into the American-Jewish musical and cultural experience of the past 100 years. Max Epstein (1912-2000) ranks as one of the greatest klezmer clarinetists of the 20th century. He and his brothers are considered to have been innovators in the fields of Yiddish, klezmer and Hasidic music: They brought their knowledge as American dance band players to klezmer music, transforming the celebratory music of the eastern European shtetl into an urban expression of North American Jewry.

“…they still swing like mad. They ride a galloping beat and play hot, uptempo music… a jazzy improvisational flair that`ll make your head spin. The Epsteins … were arguably the first professional world-beat musicians, and they`ve still got chops to spare”

“An absolute must!” (Musikblatt)

“serious, complex, vital music which can stand with the best of any type of world music”
(Jewish Herald-Voice)

“A real pleasure!” (Ari Davidow, The Epstein Brothers Orchestra, Kings of Freylekh Land

Max Epstein, clarinet in Bb
Julius Epstein, drums and percussion
William Epstein, trumpet and fluegelhorn
Danny Rubinstein, alto and tenor saxophone
Peter Sokolow, piano
Pat Merola, string bass

Track List:

1.Beresh Katz’s Bulgar 3:37
2. Mitzve Tants 4:06
3. Olshanetsky Medley 6:35
4. Hasidic Medley 3:27
5. Fotta-Poppa & Shtekelekh 3:01
6. Cabaret Songs & Gypsy Bulgar 8:02
7. Hora & Sirba 5:04
8. Epstein’s Doina 5:31
9. Moskowitz’ Sirba 4:09
10. Romanian Drinking Song & Kalarash 4:40
11. T’khies Ha-Meysim (Resurrection of the Dead) 6:27
12. Keshenever Shtikele 3:11
13. Hungarian Melodies 6:49
14. Silkene Pajamas & Epstein Nign 2:25