Ever wonder what it takes to push a record into the upper reaches of Amazon.com's bestseller list? Sometimes it may not be much. Case in point: "Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953," a three-CD collection of vintage recordings that resided at No. 4 on Amazon's music list as of Monday morning (Aug. 9).
It's an arcane package: a 2009 compilation on England's JSP Records of Yiddish 78s from the archives of collector Sherry Mayrent. A quick Google search turned up the probable reason for the set's arrival on Amazon: a rave Wall Street Journal review published on Aug. 7 by critic Nat Hentoff, who ties the swingin' Jewish sounds to the roots of jazz.
We haven't heard this set, but it sports some top-flight contributors: compiler Henry "Hank" Sapoznik, engineer Christopher King and designer Susan Archie, Grammy winners or nominees all.
So as of around 10 a.m. PT on Monday, "Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners" was comfortably ensconced for the moment between titles by James Taylor and Carole King (No. 3) and Sheryl Crow (No. 5). L'chaim!