London’s Calling

Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars – Carnival Conspiracy
Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars

Carnival Conspiracy (Piranha CD-PIR1902, 2006)

When he’s not trumpeting with the Klezmatics, composing scores or guesting on recordings, Frank London teeters between musical genius and madness with his Klezmer Brass Allstars. Their latest offering is subtitled “In the Marketplace All is Subterfuge,” and I applaud London’s forthrightness regarding whatever deception he seeks to sell.

How can there be anything but hidden agendas when song titles like “Oh Agony, You are so Sweet Like Sugar I Must to Eat you up” scream of them? Actually, what London seems to have in mind here is connecting a distinctly Jewish celebratory feel with parties in a few other diasporas.

So apart from some lengthy centerpieces that rousingly mix Eastern European oompah with dense Brazilian
percussion, there’s also Yiddish/Spanish lyrical combinations, Jamaica-like pulses, voices that burst forth with so much gusto as to sound nearly insane, ballroom tempos laced with covert cool and an army of notable instrumental and vocal guest appearances from both hemispheres that get as many great talents in on the conspiracy as possible.

You won’t have to look very closely at the artwork or the liner notes to know that fun is the bottom line here, a fact the music likewise makes clear in fairly short order. What’s also clear is that this music is something of an antidote to today’s generally messed-up situation (of which conspiracies are an
integral part, naturally). So tell the terrorists, corrupt politicians and those with closed minds to screw themselves while you get refreshed with this intoxicating, sweetly bewildering bust of brass, beats and unifying lunacy. Come conspire.

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Author: Tom Orr

Tom Orr is a California-based writer whose talent and mental stability are of an equally questionable nature. His hobbies include ignoring trends, striking dramatic poses in front of his ever-tolerant wife and watching helplessly as his kids surpass him in all desirable traits.