Video fra DR Koncerthuset Reviews
Channe Nussbaum had already achieved fame as a Danish pop star when she began exploring Jewish music with the Spielniks.
Here she takes us on a quieter excursion, accompanied only by accordion and violin. The focus on this album is more intimate,
less flashy, less sexual. And whether she is singing old standards such as "Shein vi di Levune" (how pretty is the moon) or
that Olschanezky tearjerker, "Belz", or new compositions such as her own "Golda" or "Jidishe Neshume", the result is very,
As fun and over the top her Spielniks work is, here one really notices her lovely, smoky voice. The accompaniment by Ougaard
and Smidl is absolutely perfect, and deservedly steps in front, as on the wild "Suite for violin" with bits of everything from
klezmer to rom to hootenany. The result is remote from a reproduction of old repertoire, rather the transformation of the old
into fresh Jewish folk music. The excited scat "lie lie lie"s that conclude "Majn Jingele", or her own "Shvindlers Polka" are
passionate and excited--a perfect invitation to audience sing-along in a setting that feels entirely contemporary. But neither
is that over-the-topness gone. "Bai mir bistu shein" resolves itself into hoarse shouting more reminiscent of Janis Joplin than
the Andrews Sisters, and then returns to a sweet tunefulness entirely appropriate to the song and to the mood. Nussbaum is simply
a master singer between both the rock/pop world, and singing a masterful Yiddish repertoire. One is tempted to suggest that she
team up with Yiddish rocker Wolf Krakowski and see what they can do together.
After a wild instrumental ride, the album ends with a lovely Danish pop tune, "En dag er ikke levet uden kærlighed." The English
summary of the lyrics reads a bit like a motto for Ms. Nussbaum: "conquer all the hearts you meet.... Let no one have you to
themselves. Remember, you're too precious to be for only one person." There is no shortage of artists trying to make Yiddish song
contemporary. What is extraordinary is that Nussbaum has succeeded, and suceeded so passionately and so well. I eagerly await her
next recording and send her wishes that she tour outside Denmark. Until then, and beyond, this remains highly enjoyable and recommended.
Reviewed by Ari Davidow 6/21/03
By Georg Metz
Channe Nussbaum's singing hits you right in the guts. Somehow this talent bomb
of a necessary Danish-Yiddish melange has managed to tune herself into the core
of European Jew's ancient, deeply moving and invocatory musical comments to
life. All things considered, the singing in klezmer often sounds like shrilling
pain. To say that Ms Nussbaum has the knack of this extraordinary tradition
seems somehow a bit of an understatement. The singer's skills are quite simply
so distinctly all right that she controls all the exacting passages in her performance.
Everywhere she maintains a superb and fabulous register of overtones. Ms Nussbaum
is gifted with a robust and grand voice that apparently is able to bear the
wear and tear. With outstanding artistic empathy she thereby becomes part of
what she sings about - some of it she even writes herself - and thus a worthy
representative of centuries of Jewish singing experience. From the little things
in life as a jumping-off point to the big themes in life. It oftens begins in
a modest tone, but quite shortly develops into the really grandiose drama, which
sends a shiver down your spine and almost makes the tears run down your cheek.
You have to be a real bore, if you don't get carried away.
Convincing. This is the third klezmer CD from Channe Nussbaum. On her two former
albums - Channe Nussbaum and the Spielloks from 1997 and Jidishe Mame from 1998,
the vocalist was accompanied by somewhat bigger ensembles. With these latter
accompanists Ms. Nussbaum, also has performed at live concerts and venues in
Denmark as well as abroad - at times with a somewhat diminished sensitivity
because of too potent an electronic amplification. This suits her personality
less well. Ms. Nussbaum is altoghether at her most convincing when she performs
in chamber ensembles as the one on this CD. Mette Smidl plays the violin, Oyvind
Ougaard the accordion. They do that exceedingly well and basically. To have
klezmer, that is all you need. You could object that the clarinet - so intimately
associated with the painfulness of the tradition - has remained at home. On
this CD, however, the violin plays the very role, which it originally was intended
to in klezmer music - as the main instrument in dancing ballads at wedding feasts.
In klezmer, love plays the upper hand. In some parts of the klezmer tradition,
a so called badchan - a professional jester - joined in with the orchestra with
the task of amusing the wedding party with his sometimes rather coarse whims.
Not infrequently the badchan overstepped his mark and insulted the whole party,
the newly weds included, which is why this practice gradually was diluted leaving
klezmer in its place. It is said in Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend that
the Jewish urge for tall stories and banter imposed a sort of duty to invent
and tell stories on the rabbi, while klezmer handled the musical part of the
performance. A keen sense of humour is certainly part and parcel of Ms. Channe
Nussbaum's repertoire. She has once more provided a genuine and magnificent
experience - she most certainly has. And on top of it all, her final song is
a klezmer version of a Danish popular film ballad from the 1930's – En
dag er ikke levet uden kærlighed (Without love, you haven't lived your
day). She can handle that as well.
(Full text review from Danish daily Information, 25.3.02)
".. After quite a pause in her career, the singer Channe Nussbaum has made
an impressive come back on the music stage and this time she is surrounded by
newfound musical friends. The new constellation gives a lot more space to Ms.
Nussbaum's passionate singing, which is the truly great experience on this CD
and is most competently backed up by the two outstanding instrumentalists Ougaard
and Smidl, both of them in a sparkling good form - Ms. Smidl's beautiful violin
suite deserves a special mention. The two instrumentalists have spiced up the
klezmer with stylistic elements from Hungarian and Romanian gypsy music, thereby
in a way creating their very own and most interesting klezmer sound. The repertoire
consists of a mixture of sentimental ballads and lively polkas, most of them
classical klezmer melodies, but the CD contains also a couple of tunes composed
by singer Channe Nussbaum herself, who has Jewish blood in her veins and is
proficient in Yiddish."
(Soren Chr. Kierkegaard - excerpt from a review in the Danish daily Jyllandsposten,
".. The ability to stun her audience in a soul-stirring manner has never
been a problem for singer Channe Nussbaum. Previously she made quite a name
together with former band The Spielniks - now, in Trio Klezmer, she has allied
herself with the accordionist Oyvind Ougaard and the violinist Mette Smidl -
a couple of eminent musicians who are fully able to grasp the true essence of
klezmer. The opening tune - a solid classic about the village 'Beltz' - is full
of vocal vitality and accordion jazz. You should also lend your ears to good
old Bai mir bistu shein, which is performed in a much more ecstatic style than
the later jazz classic version Bei Mir bist du Schön.«"
(Kjeld Frandsen - excerpt from a review in the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende,
".. Especially ms. Nussbaum's singing contributes in making this trio something
really special. Her singing style is quite different from the classical 'shrilling'
voice usually heard in the klezmer tradition – much more seductive and
melodic. She has even been called 'a Yiddish sex symbol' - a term probably only
used about few other klezmer singers, if about any at all. The brave Oyvind
Ougaard treats his instrument in a highly personal manner. A coctail of French
Riviera and the Balkans added with a large portion of tango sprinkled with pawky
humour. Mette Smidl's Hungarian ancestors not only announce themselves in her
most charming look, but also through the cords of her violin. All in all it's
an impressively rich - and an impressively personal soundscape - that the three
of them manage to create. «
(Mikkel Hornes in Djembe no. 41, september 2002 - a Scandinavian magazine for
cross culture and world music.)