You have no items in your shopping cart.
Voice Of Joy
Availability: In stock.
Kol Simcha means "Voice of Joy". After years of playing together, these five Swiss musicians breathe, cry and dance as one. Most compositions are original, but they include many traditional gems from over a century of Klezmer music, rearranged for the '90s. Already one of the great bands in contemporary klezmer music, Kol Simcha's style appeals to listeners far beyond its Eastern European folk roots. The five man Swiss ensemble adds a supertight rhythm section of acoustic bass, drums, and piano to the traditional klezmer clarinet and flute, giving a well-worn form of Jewish vernacular music the refinement and sophistication of jazz - without losing any of the music's passion and good fun. From the wildly joyous to the exotically dark, deep, and sad, Kol Simcha celebrates life in all its glorious extremes.
Klezmer, a rollicking party music that has been likened to Yiddish Zydeco, is currently enjoying a big revival. Yet unlike some contemporary klezmer bands which have adopted a zany ethnic image, the members of Kol Simcha are hip and worldly in their approach. They've even ditched the traditional accordion, further updating their sound. This is polished, acoustic world music that could just as easily find its way into the jazz bins.
The ensemble playing is certainly tight and exciting enough to satisfy fans of rigorous, soaring improvisations, without losing people who crave music that just plain feels good. While some critics have compared contemporary klezmer music to Dixieland, Kol Simcha seems more influenced by the cool jazz of Miles Davis, the ecstasy and tenderness of John Coltrane, the refinement of Wynton Marsalis, the heat of Zydeco's Queen Ida, and the revelry of a rockin' cajun group like Beausoleil.
The name of the group (pronounced coal-SIM-ka) couldn't be more appropriate. In Hebrew, kol means "voice," and simcha refers to a joyous occasion, a party or celebration. Many of the tunes on the group's debut for World Class Records do indeed invite you to get up and dance yourself into a frenzy.
Like any great party band, however, Kol Simcha knows when - and how - to slow things down. Several ballads on the album feed the soul even as they bring tears to the eyes. The band succeeds in enhancing the most poignant overtones of its roots, taking klezmer beyond its longstanding status as bittersweet, ironic celebration music for an oppressed ethnic group.
Kol Simcha brings klezmer's most vital and relevant qualities to an artistic level that speaks eloquently to all people about what it means to be fully human.