Klezmer Podcast Blog

Blog to accompany the Klezmer Podcast website

Review: Eyn Velt

Posted by keithklez on March 7, 2008



Review: Eyn Velt

               Brian Bender and Little Shop Of Horas




Brian Bender has an adventurous musical spirit that is reflected in the tracks of Eyn Velt, his latest CD release. Combining his gift for mixing melodies and rhythms from different cultures with his multi-instrumental abilities creates a distinctive sound that can be readily identified as his own. While it is not uncommon these days to find Jewish melodies mixed with other cultures, Bender has collaborated with some of the best known Jewish musicians and added an outstanding cast of backing musicians that combine to give a compelling listening experience. The CD booklet describes the music as “Original and traditional Jewish melodies blended with Latin, Caribbean, African, and Middle Eastern rhythms.”


Bender has composed four original songs for Eyn Velt and arranged all of the songs. He performs on Trombone, Trumpet, Baritone Horn, Melodica, Keyboards, Percussion, and Vocals. Quite an impressive range of abilities. He also has some of the best-known guest artists appearing on the album, such as Alicia Svigals- Fiddle, Frank London- Trumpet, and Stu Brotman- Bass. I must also mention the outstanding Flute/Sax performances by Lise Brown. 


What we find on these tracks is a blending of Jewish melodies with rhythms and backgrounds from many different cultural traditions. We end up with a style of world fusion music that has Bender’s signature sound on each track. Yet, each song’s arrangement lives up to the tradition of the particular culture. While each song stands on its own, as you listen through the album there is a common thread woven by Bender that ties the album together nicely as a suite.


I cannot single out just one song as my favorite. I like them all, and find myself humming along without even thinking about it. However, if I were pressed for a response, I would pick El Judio as the most representative of the music on the album. An original by Bender, it combines a Klezmer theme with a Latin Jazz groove. Latin Jazz happens to be another favorite genre of mine, so it plays to my taste quite nicely. 


The disc sounds quite good, with all the instruments, vocals, and exotic percussion clear and distinct. The CD booklet does not credit the recording engineer, but lists that the album was mastered by Jim Hemingway. 


The CD booklet is a 8-page foldout with good song information, a page by Bender detailing his motivation for the album, and a bio page.


I enjoyed this album very much. Jewish music does blend well with other cultures, and this is an excellent example of how to do it right. The title Eyn Velt says it all, and should appeal to a broad range of listeners. 


Keith Wolzinger

Klezmer Podcast


Eyn Velt

Brian Bender and Little Shop Of Horas


Face The Music- FTM-2008




Brian Bender
Little Shop Of Horas

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