The genre of World Music has grown in leaps and bounds with some of the most intriguing work produced to date. From the Latin sound to the African beat, the abundance of magic on disc is growing along with the quality. A stunning example of this in the Jewish masterpiece of Frank London’s 2007 release on Soundbrush Records called "A Night in the Old Marketplace," an outstanding example of storytelling set to an eclectic mix of emotion. London’s efforts seem to swallow you up and pull you within each arrangement and lyric.
I hesitate to label this a "genius" effort, but with the collaboration of London’s arrangements and playwright Glen Berger’s lyrics, and a cast of extraordinary talent, I would not fault one who would. This is about as fine an introduction to the novice of the Jewish art form that there is, a superb example with numerous avenues towards excellence.
This score is based on a 1907 Yiddish play by I.L. Peretz, molded and arranged for Alexandra Aron’s theatre effort, which embraces so many personalities to grasp hold of. With the gothic-like tone of "Canon of the Dead" to the account of a musician’s demise in "The Tale of the Drowned Klezmorium, it is an intense spin.
One of the most alluring moments throughout this project is London’s calculated mood changes; each tempo transformation takes you to a new place. "Desire it" has such a reaction. London’s attempt of visualizing the dead dancing, works. The vocals, along with the score ,just haunt the listener!
"A Night in the Old Marketplace" is, without a doubt, one of my most innovative spins in 2007. London’s work stimulates the mind, creates a visual and satisfies the appetite for innovation, unlike many attempts so far. Spend and spin "A Night in the Old Marketplace" and you will be drawn to more of the work, past and present of Jack London.