The Kabalas

The Eye of Zohar

Oops - did I fetch the wrong CD? I expected klez sound - and what I'm hearing now is a drum roll, a scream, a real "dirty" sax in a terrific drive. Do you still know that British Ska-Rock group "Madness" of the late 70ies / early 80ies? Exactly that is, what "Ay Kabalas!" sounds, the intro of Moline, IL based The Kabalas' latest CD.

If you plan to put this CD into your player, you better should forget anything you might know about klezmer, and instead of take a trip down your memory lane for ska, polka, vaudeville (terrific: the ode to Chico Marx - I believe, Kabalas are Marx Brothers in mind ...) and boogie woogie, for that's exactly what can be expected.

Yep, there are some Jiddish things and some of that, what we use to call klezmer on this CD: the Kabalas' version of the Golem story, Hava Netse B'Machol, Shir Shalom, Rom'mu, and Hava Nagila, but always in Kabalas specific arrangements right across music styles and history. Hava Nagila at all: I've heard many versions of that old tune, but never ever one like this: it starts with a duet of singing saw (!) and soprano sax, leads over to a jazzy syncopation singing, and ends in a wild session.

On the other hand - I never found an ode to a porn star on any CD (Traci Lords Polka), and not at all on a klez CD. Honi soit qui mal y pense. Anyway, I learnt, that Traci Lords apparently co-starred the Melrose Place soap. Never saw it. What do we learn from that? Hearing Kabalas' music will broaden your mind ... ;-))))

Well, to the question keeping me busy while hearing this CD (and probably also you while reading this): Is this klez? Not at all traditional klezmer music. But it really doesn't matter, the main thing is, it makes fun. And "The Eye of Zohar" really makes fun, it is fun. It is music tiptoeing craftyly into your ears, installing itself in your brain, making you sing Shir Shalom or Chico Marx all the day, and then going down straight to your feet, making them tap and tap and tap ... And it's amazing, what terrific sound they get out of two accordions, a sax and some percussion. Uuuh, I like it!

The Eye of Zohar - The Kabalas
  1. Ay Kabalas! (S. Morschhauser)
  2. Hava Netse B'Machol (trad., arr. The Kabalas)
  3. Cliché (S. Morschhauser)
  4. The Golem (S. Morschhauser)
  5. Soviette (N. Smith)
  6. Traci Lords Polka (S. Morschhauser)
  7. The Crossing Guard's Coffee Break (S. Morschhauser/N. Smith)
  8. Simontov U Mazeltwist (trad., arr. B. Wolf)
  9. The Eye of Zohar (S. Morschhauser)
  10. Hava Nagila (trad., arr. The Kabalas)
  11. Shir La Shalom (Y. Rosenbloom) (mpeg3, 230 KB, 30 sec)
  12. Chico Marx (S. Morschhauser)
  13. Rom'mu (trad., arr. The Kabalas)
  14. Love Theme from The Eye of Zohar (S. Morschhauser)
Scott Morschhauservocals, accordion, saw, bongos, auxiliary percussion
"Nervous" Neal Smith soprano sax, tenor sax, flute, backing vocals
Barry "The Wolfman" Wolf accordion, auxiliary percussion
"Mr." Joel Dicktrap set, frame drum, tam tam



Detlev Müller, 08-APR-98
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