Album Review: Sam Sadigursky | The Solomon Diaries Vol. 1-3 | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Album Review: Sam Sadigursky | The Solomon Diaries Vol. 1-3 

Last Updated: 07/01/2022 3:36 pm
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Sam Sadigursky | Solomon Diaries Vol. I

(Adhyaropa Records)

An evocation of the lost world of the Jewish Catskills, inspired by photographer Marisa Scheinfeld’s visionary project, The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish

Vacationland, Sam Sadigursky’s The Solomon Diaries Vol. 1, a suite for duo—almost minimalist by definition—is a monumental achievement. In Sadigursky’s postmodern musical vision, new music, folk, jazz, chamber music, and klezmer blend into a unique and highly personal cross-genre hybrid.

The 104 minutes of music spread across three CDs features Sadigursky’s compositional and instrumental talents on clarinet, aided nobly by accordionist/multi-instrumentalist Nathan Koci. The interplay between the duet partners is strikingly telepathic, as on “Callicoon,” where clarinet and accordion perform such speedy, acrobatic flips that they seem to morph into one another. Found sounds, archival clips, and a few appearances by Broadway star Katrina Lenk leaven the mix.

Compositions range from free-metered reveries patterned after Old World doinas to ballads to dance tunes, with titles that often refer to specific hotels—"Grossinger’s Bride,” “Pines Hora”—and other Catskills locations, including “Fallsburg Steps” and “Goodbye, Sullivan.” While the music often returns to klezmer and Yiddish modes, it is never confined by them, and Sadigursky refrains from relying on traditional sounds or nostalgia. In its totality, the instrumental cycle addresses the 20th-century American Jewish experience, but its spirit is generous and open enough to reflect that of any population of immigrants and refugees, transcending the particular to address the promises of the American dream, both realized and broken.


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