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World Music CD Reviews Europe

VERETSKI PASS

By Paul-ÉmileComeau
Published January 20, 2006

Veretski Pass
Golden Horn

Veretski Pass is a trio that plays “village style” Yiddish music from Ukraine, Medieval Poland, Romania and other regions of Eastern Europe, some of it tracing its origins to the Ottoman Empire. Each of the three musicians (Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, and Stuart Brotman) has extensive experience with such groups as the Klezmatics, Kapelye, Brave Old World, the Klezmorim and others. On their self-titled debut album the group’s musical choices, whether raw, serene, or mournful, are mostly brief, over half of the 30 tracks being less than two minutes long. One selling point that makes this stand out from other Jewish albums is that the tunes, many of which had never been recorded until now, are played on 19th century versions of such instruments as violin, viola, two tsimbls (Jewish hammered dulcimer), button accordion and several other old and seldom heard instruments. The 34-page booklet features interesting essays by the musicians, one of which is a fascinating 12-page resolution of the perennial age-old riddle of which came first, the chicken or the egg.