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CHARMING HOSTESS: Punch
A few of you will already have heard either the Hostess's first wild American release or founder Jewlia Eisenberg's ear-opening Tzadik CD of last year. The Hostesses here are an extraordinary 7 piece band, tight, a little rockish, comprising bass, drums, guitar, fiddle, various horns, accordion and other occasional instruments (singing saw, for instance) - but the work is distinguished by the amazing vocal arrangements (everyone sings, and exceptionally). Additive rhythms stretched harmonies, pinpoint playing; this is evolved material, executed with great skill - and great looseness. Some traditional pieces from Bulgaria, Palestine, Transylvania and Southern America appear in very personalised arrangements alongside original songs that go way beyond world music genres.