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CD REVIEW: Tummel - Klezmer
By Ben Ohmart - 11/17/2001 - 05:20 PM EST

Artist: Tummel
Album: Klezmer
CD Review: Well, when this cd first started to spin and the sax and clarinet began to twirl like stripper
nipples, this reviewer at once thought the cds got switched at birth and Spike Jones had
infiltrated the speakers here. Or perhaps Frank Zappa's stage crew, finally put in the studio. No.
This is Tummel, a group expounding the rather unheard of virtues of 'traditional Jewish party
music.' No again, it's not 2 Live Jews. This is World music combined with glass stomping
action, yells, screams, and a pace that rather wears a soul out after the first hour.

66 minutes long, this cd is clever instrumentalization that combines every sound from electric
guitar to tuba to accordion to flute to laughing children. Some pretty racy rhythms streaming
through here. 'Baba Ganoush Overload' is especially adept at eliciting the OY from your lips,
while the flute vs. raunchy tuba (that IS a tuba, right?) of 'Leben Zol Palestina' makes it rather a
curse to consider yourself genteel. The squeak of the bed (or outside swing), the dog calls, the
regal fun that breezes through like a big-nosed circus on its way to a bath is just a delight from
morn to night.

However, the best thing about Tummel is their unerring ability to strike a tough balance.
Whereas the general public could scoff at the rather 'novelty' situation of Spike Jones, this
Tummel is a band that combines more than a mere joke (the lack of vocals - well, lyrics - Could
help, but it's more than that) with structured pieces of the traditional vs. the progressive nature of
all changing music. Granted, you are meant to laugh at much of it, but the majority is finessing
your mind into a world unheard of (unless you really Live in this odd music!). It is taking the
straight laces of Sunday school shoes and tying them to a turtle. As the animal slowly creeps
along, you wonder if you should laugh constantly or just do a little dance, bit by bit. The choice,
tie-wearers, is yours.

But. You would be foolish to steer clear of such an enterprising Tummel as thee.

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