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.