Jazz Meets Blues meets Bluegrass

Andy Statman - Old Brooklyn
Andy Statman

Old Brooklyn (Shefa Records Horn 3004/5, 2011)

New York musician Andy Statman has a new double album that showcases his talent as an instrumentalist and his important role in various musical styles. Old Brooklyn contains an extensive selection of musical pieces that include jazz, bluegrass, Klezmer and various musical combinations.

Old Brooklyn features musicians from Statman’s long-time trio, bassist Jim Whitney and drummer Larry Eagle, together with guitarist Jon Sholle and fiddle player Byron Berline. In addition, Statman invited renowned musicians such as Ricky Skaggs, Béla Fleck, Bruce Molsky and Paul Shaffer.

Statman plays duets with old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky on two tracks, and Bela Fleck plays banjo with Statman on the traditional “Shabbos Nigun,” which the two musicians arranged. The duets are an important component part of Old Brooklyn, which also includes virtuoso ensemble playing. Statman plays mandolin and clarinet solos throughout the album.

I had put out two albums about five years ago–one was a mandolin record, the other a clarinet album,” Statman recalls. “This time, we wanted to do a record that would combine both, so I wound up writing a whole bunch of original music and finding some songs I knew that would be good for the ensembles we had put together.”

Old Brooklyn brings together and intertwines the three musical styles that Statman is known for: bluegrass, jazz and klezmer. “It’s sort of our own take on a number of different roots traditions, and non-roots traditions,” Statman says. “It draws from jazz and improvised music. You know, every genre has its own emotional and structural categories.”

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