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The word is out about Moishe’s Bagel – they’ve earned a well-deserved reputation for their passionate, energetic stage performances, and when posters advertising their gigs go up at folk/world music venues, the buzz you hear about them is really positive.  These hugely accomplished musicians got together in Edinburgh in 2003, their musical backgrounds (Salsa Celtica, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Celtic Feet) as diverse as their family roots.  This is folk music with very strong world elements, embracing klezmer and Balkan music and melding these with Latin rhythm, Asian percussion and loads of classical and jazz discipline.  Great instrumentation, including accordion, double bass, piano, fiddle and percussion – and there’s plenty of drama in these arrangements.  This sexy, vivacious album gets off to a brisk start with ‘Tantz Glassidic’, developing into a canter with ‘El Coche Amarillo’.  The band flies off into a gallop with the wonderfully mischievous ‘Flying By Jewish Radar’.  ‘Amondala’ is quite exquisite and extraordinarily intense; the violin, accordion and piano are so emotional here, and it’s clearly a love song with a twist, for it is inspired by the twin delights of Nicky & a bowl of salted almonds. 

There’s so much rhythm in this music though that you feel you really want to be enjoying it in some packed standing venue.  It’s all very beautifully played, and this is a band to go and see if they appear on gig listings near you – their indefatigable musical energy couldn’t fail to touch you.

Debbie Koritsas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 75 of The Living Tradition magazine.