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Andy Statman Trio in New York City

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 9/17/2003 - www.Littleviews.com ]

>>  To hear the Andy Statman Trio is to be treated to high energy, foot tapping (if not feverish dancing) music that mixes the best of everything, from very old Ukrainian musical traditions to the latest in vibes.

Andy Statman of the Andy Statman TrioWithout knowing anything about Andy Statman's background, I've enjoyed his fabulous clarinet riffs and expert mandolin strumming all of which were energetically matched by Jim Whitney on bass and Larry Eagle, a percussionist who pounds on anything near his hands. There isn't a moment in an Andy Statman Trio concert that bores. Each set is different in tone and pace. All, however, are extremely lively.

The trio plays a blend of fusion, Zydeco, jazz, folk, bluegrass, and Eastern European klezmer (think "Fiddler on the Roof").

Prior to hearing the trio, I was vaguely familiar with klezmer, but couldn't hum a tune, if you know what I mean. Until I heard Statman, I'd have never guessed that the ancient musical traditions of Eastern European Jews could make up-to-date music.

The music they play is so fast and multifaceted, it's a wonder that the trio could memorize it. The secret, according to Larry Eagle, is that they all know the core tunes, which are somewhat simple melodies. From these, they improvise, with the spirit of the evening carrying the rest. Each performance is different, yet the seeds of these performances are generally the same.

Klezmer is a folk music that's associated with, well, happy folk (!) as well as Jewish mystical practices (Statman's specialty). Although I know nothing about Jewish mystics, I am familiar with meditation practices that lead to heightened experiences. That said, I definitely felt the effect of the trio's music rushing through parts of my body, eliciting different emotions in response to the vibrations. Verrrry impressive!

Statman's music is highly refined. Don't start searching for musical samples of klezmer on the web to find out what he's all about. Statman pushes the klezmer influence to production levels that defy description. There's absolutely nothing reedy, oompah or squeezebox about his renditions.

The trio is internationally known, yet asks extremely humble admission fees of between $10 to $25, depending on location. Sometimes you even get extras for your money. The $10 I spent to see them perform at the small Charles Street Synagogue in New York City, for example, included cookies and cupcakes!

For more information about Andy Statman's background and mystical klezmer, here are links that will put you in touch and lead to music clips:

  • To be put on their mailing list, contact info@AndyStatman.org

  • Visit their site at www.AndyStatman.org

  • For the best Google search, put the name of the trio in quotes, as in "Andy Statman Trio". Use the same technique to find information on each of the trio's members.

Comments? Questions?
Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 9/17/2002. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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