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15 December 2011

News From Veretski Pass




Veretski Pass
Music from the Carpathian Bow

Cookie Segelstein - Violin, Viola
Joshua Horowitz – Cimbalom, Chromatic Button Accordion, Piano
Stuart Brotman - Bass, Basy, Tilinca, Baraban

“…Veretski Pass, one hot band!” Chicago Sun Times

“…Veretski Pass stands out as something bold, unusual and musically satisfying.” Simon Broughton, BBC and Songlines Magazine

"… No one else on the local scene - or any other scene - is doing what Veretski Pass is. The tunes are mysterious, enthralling and beautiful." Eric R. Danton, Hartford Courant

Sound Samples and Info on Veretski Pass albums:
First Album ( Veretski Pass ) 2004, Second Album ( Trafik ) 2008, Latest Album ( The Klezmer Shul Live ) 2011 Veretski Pass Website

Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays “Old Country” music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Veretski Pass recently performed at the Concertgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam, and their CDs have repeatedly been on the 10-best recording lists of journalists.

Worldwide Concert Booking
Please contact Golden Horn with your inquiries. Golden Horn Records • P.O. Box 5776 • Walnut Creek, CA 94596 www.goldenhorn.com

23 November 2011

Klezmer Conquest: A Battle of the Bands- Boston


Klezmer Conquest: A Battle of the Bands
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Where: Social Hall
Temple Aliyah
1664 Central Avenue • Needham, MA 02492
781-444-8522

$5.00 General Admission

Join special guest MCs, our Natick neighbors, Cantor Ken Richmond and Rabbi Shira Shazeer, for an entertaining evening of Klezmer as we celebrate four local bands hitting the Aliyah bandstand. Having performed klezmer and Yiddish songs up and down the East Coast, in Israel, and in Eastern Europe, Ken and Shira will keep the program moving with their musical talents, Yiddishkeit, and humor. Our four Klezmer Kontenders are:

Klezjam, who have been playing together for nearly 3 years, bring their unique musical stylings to nursing homes, assisted living centers, and an occasional bar mitzvah and wedding. The band got its name from the fact that the players met at two regular musical jams -- the Workmen's Circle jam and the Watertown jam.


JCC Klezmer ensemble, led by Barry Shapiro, is a class that meets at the JCC in Newton. Barry has been a long-time member of the Boston music scene, and was a founding member of The Klezmer Conservatory Band, Shirim, and the B.S.O. (Barry Shapiro Orchestra).

Shir Madness plays a mix of Yiddish show tunes, folk tunes and hits from the Borscht Belt. The band features distinctive dances and styles -- from bulgars to Terkishes, freylakhs to horas -- all of them popular in Eastern Europe and U.S. in the early part of the twentieth century and original pieces written by their own clarinet player, Richard Yospin.

The Shpilkes Klezmer Band has become a mainstay of the Purim celebrations and congregational events at various synagogues in MetroWest. The name "Shpilkes" (שפּילקעס) is a Yiddish word for "nervous energy" and also relates to the Yiddish term "shpil", meaning “play”, or, more precisely, "playing instead of sitting still". No one can listen to Shpilkes without wanting to dance to its lively, living melodies!


http://www.templealiyah.com/calendarEvent.aspx?id=30064772500&dt=12/11/11

15 November 2011

Yael Meyer- Fire


New track from Yael Meyer. Check it out:

11 November 2011

Klezmer Podcast 84- Geoff Berner



Klezmer Podcast 84 features a video interview with Geoff Berner, recorded at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles on 30 September 2011


07 November 2011

Klezmer Podcast Visits ThingLink At Blogworld Expo 2011





Watch ThingLink Chief Marketing Officer Neil Vineberg demo the service, enabling easy sharing of embedded video, audio, and other content on blog and web pages.

23 October 2011

12 October 2011

Hy Wolfe in Concert at the YIVO- October 17, 2011



קאָנצערט מיט
חיים וואָלף ביים ייִוואָ
Hy Wolfe in Concert at the YIVO
Hy Wolfe 
Hy Wolfe: An Evening of Songs and Stories
YIVO Institute
DATE: Monday, October 17, 2011
TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 
sent to you courtesy of the
Congress for Jewish Culture
1133 Broadway, Suite 1019
New York, New York 10010
212-505-8040

01 October 2011

Review: London Klezmer Quartet


London Klezmer Quartet have released their self-titled debut album, and if you are a fan of small group, authentic Klezmer, this album fits the bill perfectly. The group has a wonderful acoustic sound, without anything getting in the way of the purity of the music. The arrangements are spot on, and the balance is just right. Whether it be a delicate doina or hora, a bouncing sher, or a blazing freylekhs, LKQ gives a masterful performance, full of exuberance and artistry.

LKQ pays homage to some of the Klezmer greats. A pair of Dave Tarras tunes, Galatas and Bosporus feature Susi Evans on Clarinet. She is very impressive, and plays with great heart, particularly on the latter tune.

Naftule Brandwein’s Firn Di Mekhutonim Aheym is here, too, and the band does a beautiful version of it.

And Sid Beckerman’s Tants a Freylekhs is the centerpiece of a medley along with Doyne and the fast-paced Galitsianer Tensl.

Band member Carol Isaacs’ Camden Patsh is a refreshing take on the traditional Clapping Dance, common Klezmer music. It is named after a neighborhood in London.

Band members Ilana Cravitz and Susi Evans teamed up to write Starlight Hora, a tune that came to them while riding the Coast Starlight train in California.

The final tune, Nakhes Fun Kinder (reprise) is a more open and delicate version the we hear earlier on the album. Carol Isaacs switches to Piano, which is a perfect match for the more subdued and emotional feel of Clarinet and Cello. This track is my favorite on the album.

The audio quality on the recording is outstanding, thanks to engineer Jeremy Cox. The instruments are all clear, and the balance is just right.

LKQ is off to a great start with this album. I will be keeping it in my regular listening rotation for quite some time. I can recommend LKQ highly to both those just starting to build their Klezmer library, as well as those fans looking for a truly authentic sound amongst all the amped-up Klezmer that is being produced these days. Keep up the great work, ladies.

Personnel:
Ilana Cravitz- Violin
Susi Evans- Clarinet
Carol Isaacs- Accordion and Piano
Francesca Ter-Berg- Cello


 Track List:  
 1.   Galatas
 2.   Patsh (clapping) dances
 3.   A Gute Nakht (good night)
 4.   Ukrainian Sherele
 5.   Firn di Mekhutonim Aheym (taking the in-laws home) ~
       Tsum Badekns
 6.   Sher
 7.   Doyne  ~ Tants a Freylekhs ~ Galitsianer Tensl
 8.   Bosporus
 9.   Starlight Hora  ~ Lekhayim  ~ Russian Dance
10. Nakhes fun Kinder ~ Manchester Mekhutonim  ~
      Tants far Ale Mekhutonim
11. Wedding Hora
12. Nakhes fun Kinder (reprise)

 Total Time: 43:57

THE FUTURE OF KLEZMER MUSIC L’ARTICHAUT ORKESTRA (TOULOUSE France) T for Teresa (Tzadik)


Just in from JUMU music in France:
THE FUTURE OF KLEZMER MUSIC L’ARTICHAUT ORKESTRA (TOULOUSE France) T for Teresa (Tzadik) International album lauching party!! In partnership with TSF JAZZ RADIO

Thursday october 13th, 2011 (doors @ 8pm) LE STUDIO DE L’ERMITAGE 8 rue de l’ermitage 75020 PARIS tickets : fnac, digitick

Featuring four young musicians of diverse artistic backgrounds, the Artichaut Orkestra is a fabulous new ensemble out of Toulouse, France. Led by a disciple of the great modern klezmer David Krakauer, they brilliantly mix jazz, klezmer and classical music, blending the energy of rock with the unpredictable creativity of improvisation. Their debut recording presents eight original compositions of delicacy, strength and a touch of madness. Original new Jewish music from a new generation of 21st century klezmers.

Camille Artichaut: Clarinet Frederic Petitprez: Drums, Percussion Sebastien Rideau: Electric Guitar, Effects Pierre-Emmanuel Roubet: Accordion, Voice

http://www.artichautorkestra.com/

Concert introduced by Estelle Goldfarb & special guests : Ezra (beatbox) and Olivier Koundouno (cello)


13 September 2011

The Other Europeans Kickstarter Campaign



Dear Friends and Fans of The Other Europeans.

we're sooooo close! Thanks to the wonderful generosity of 89 backers (!), our kickstarter campaign has so far generated $8,968!We need just a little more than $1,000 to reach our goal of $10,000 and we're on way to the WOMEX and the gorgeous new double-CD launch. But if we don't reach $10,000 by Sunday, September 25, then none of the pledges turn into actual donations, the campaign fails, and we're back down to $0, a catastrophe! That's only 16 days away!

If you've already pledged a donation to the kickstarter campaign, thank you very much on behalf of the whole band! And if you've been waiting to make your pledge, there's no better moment than now, before the clock runs out. Remember - if you enjoy the music of The Other Europeans, for a mere $20 pledge you will receive a code that lets you download all of the music on the new double-CD. For higher pledges you can receive the CD itself, videos of the band's trip to Moldova, and much more. But ONLY if we reach the goal of $10,000. So please consider making a donation pledge now and help the splendor of The Other Europeans to go on shining! Thank you!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2102598033/the-other-europeans-womex-cd-launch

Best wishes to all, Alan Bern

CODA A Short Film project in Budapest, Hungary by Jonathan Tomlin


Coda
ABOUT THIS PROJECT: CODA is the Graduation Film of Writer/Director Jonathan Tomlin from the MA Filmmaking Course of the London Film School. In particular, this film is concerned with the relationship between self-expression and self-preservation. The struggle to survive is as important to an artist as her instrument or her talent. An extraordinary artist is someone who can transform suffering into inspiration and vice versa. This film strives to travel the world through music and reach audiences with a story that can be felt across any border and in any language. Music is a universal language with as many styles as there are cultures in the world. Music is at the core of CODA’s narrative. There is no dialogue and no subtitles. The film will run approximately 10-12 minutes.
THE STORY The story of a classically trained Violinist travelling through Eastern Europe in search of a deeper connection to music and to her own life. She lives as a full-time Traveller and Street Performer (Busker) leaving behind the rigid confinement of her Classical formation in order to push the boundaries of her life and her music. She plays with exquisite technique, but her style is as varied as the stamps on her passport. She is particularly inspired by Jewish Folk music, known as ‘Klezmer’ a unique style of music capable of expressing great joy, deep sadness or fierce anger. She awakens one morning alone in a Budapest Train Station. She has no money and no hope, just her violin. She takes up her violin and plays to the passengers in the Train Station, but no one stops to listen and no one gives her donations, except for one person, a little girl. The Violinist plays for the Girl and the Girl gives the Violinist something much more valuable and unexpected than any donation.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT We are looking to match or exceed our initial investment of $5,000. Your generous donation will equip a talented, international team of filmmakers with the tools and support needed during the shoot and post-production of the short.
THE SHOOT: We will film for 4 days in September in Budapest Hungary, where we have cultivated a strong co-production led by Producers Daniel Higley, Richard Larkin and Julia Berkes. We will invest in the support of our cast and crew and towards the rental of our Camera package. MUSIC & SOUND DESIGN: Music and sound in particular are at the very core of this story and the main character. The music has been composed by award winning Composer Enrica Sciandrone, http://enricasciandrone.com. and will be recorded in a professional studio in collaboration with Sound Designer George Robinson, who is constructing a soundscape of the world of the film.
POST PRODUCTION: During October the film will be edited and sent to a professional post-production house for color grading and audio re-recording (Final Mix).
The film will be completed in November, 2011.
THANK YOU: I am very grateful for all the support and good fortune that we have already received during the pre-production for this film. Over the last 6 months this film has reached this point because of the contributions of each new team member that committed their talents and energy. I am very proud to lead this team, but I am even more excited about the film that we can make. Please join our team and help us reach our goal. Thank you, Jonathan Tomlin
Please visit our website at: http://www.wix.com/jonathantomlin/coda

Klezmer Podcast 83- London Klezmer Quartet





Klezmer Podcast 83- London Klezmer Quartet. This episode features an interview with Ilana Cravitz of London Klezmer Quartet. The group has released their self-titled debut album, The London Klezmer Quartet. The band plays in a traditional style, but have added a few original tunes of their own. We get to hear one of these originals, Camden Patsh, by band member Carol Isaacs. Run time: 26:40.

Listen to the podcast here:



11 September 2011

Arkady Gendler Project Update


Dear Friends,
we just passed the $7,000 mark on our fundraising website! A very heartfelt thank you to everybody who already contributed! I now do hope to reach our minimum goal of $9,300 - which would at least cover the basic cost of the project (and really nothing more... Arkady will not see any honorarium at this point, I am donating three months of my working time, and most of our cooperators, many of them the best in their field, have volunteered to help without any charge!). So please keep supporting the project and make our group bigger - tell your friends about this important project!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1985622982/arkady-gendler-an-artistic-documentation
All the best,
Christian Dawid

16 July 2011

Review: Radio Babel



Watcha Clan, the French-Mediterranean group from Marseilles, is at it again with their newest release, Radio Babel. If there is a band who could single-handedly bring about World Peace, this is the one. Unlike the biblical Babel, which caused Man’s separation by creating all the different languages, this album succeeds in bringing many languages and cultures together to celebrate the One-ness of mankind.

The siren of the group, Sista K, sings in multiple languages with ease, and manages to communicate the feeling of each song perfectly. French, English, Arabic, Spanish, Yiddish, and more are handled with finesse.

Suprem Clem is the gifted beat-master who comes up with the most danceable background rhythms that perfectly complement Sista K’s luscious vocals. His balanced use of Electronic beats and Acoustic instruments are the key ingredient in the band’s worldwide success. There is never a moment that goes by without something interesting happening in this music.

The central idea of World Peace is given focus with three tracks on the album. The opener, With or Without The Wall, as well as the longer version, With or Without Extended Mix, rail against the concept of any kind of wall, physical or political. A line spoken on the track conveys the simple idea: “It is time to make peace in every land.” Another spoken voice is more direct: “But the idea that you can actually put the wall and so that there will be no contact and that there will be therefore no violence is just not true. The people who want to do violence will do the violence with or without a wall. With a little more difficulty or less difficulty.” The extended version is more of a dance mix, with more electronic and vocal beats, some great Bass and Guitar riffs, and some cool panning effects. The third track of the group is We Are One, Watcha Clan’s plea for a single global community. As Sista K offers: “Land and Men. Who does the land belong to? Men or God? Nobody owns the land. Land is free. So why wars, why borders?” I applaud Watcha Clan for their noble goal. If World Peace cannot be achieved through political and diplomatic efforts, maybe it could be achieved through the sharing of music, one of the most powerful forms of communication there is.

Hasnaduro is a feature for Nassim, accompanied by Sista K, and has a full complement of North African Arabic rhythms and modality. I love this style. It is full of energy and makes you just want to sing along.

Im Min Alu Intro/Im Min Alu starts with a reed instrument opening, brass choir and Sista K soaring above them all, then switching into a Klezmer-style beat for a moment before going into a Spanish/Ladino vocal with a terrific blend of electronic beats and fills. Suprem Clem uses a wide range of sound effects in his work, and for this song he has chosen a doorbell and creaky door to fill the gaps.

Il Etait Une Fois Dans L’Est starts with a Banjo and whistling before Sista K joins in with a beautiful rendition of the Yiddish standard Shen Vi Di Lavone. Some Klezmer style Violin fills complete the authentic feel, and the switch to a French vocal seems just right. The slower pace gives a short respite from the fast pace of much of the album.

Driving electronics and drums with Electric Guitar keep the pace fast on Fever Is Rising, another plea for peace, and perhaps a musical response to this year’s political upheavals among the Arab nations. With the spoken lines, “It is time to make peace with the planet.” “And the fever is rising.” “Out of sight and out of mind”. “Life or death. But there is hopeful news as well. We have the chance to change the world.” “We are what is wrong.” “Now is the time.” “And the fever is rising” becomes a chant repeated through the song, acknowledging the rising tide of grassroots political change.

Tangos Del Cachito and El Quinto Regimiento give Sista K a chance to sing in Spanish, and the electronic beats will surely keep the dancers on the floor, especially the Flamenco-influenced latter track.

Osfour takes us back to the Arabic world, with the appropriate electronic effects and simpler acoustic Guitar and Bass keeping the song from getting too heavy. La Camel keeps us in the same geographical zone, with Arabic and French bouncing back and forth, and a heavier electronic remix feel keeps things moving. A fun surprise at the end is to switch into an old big band version of Bei Mir Bistu Shen, fading out with an old scratchy record sound layered on top.

Viens Viensopens with and old scratchy record sound then goes into a Piano solo before transitioning to a fast beat and French lyric. Some great Guitar riffs and driving electronics keep this track on the move.

Gypsy Dust takes us far away to the Balkans where these regional Brass Band rhythms are blended with Suprem Clem’s electronic wizardry to create another wonderful Watcha Clan mashup.

Ashanti blends Sista K’s english lyrics with African rhythms, chants, and hand claps and driving electronics to give another dance track that will bring everyone out on the floor.

Radio Babel succeeds on so many levels. Multiple languages, varied ethnic beats, clever use of Electronics, and masterful musicianship combine to drive Watcha Clan to the top among World Music groups. Listen and enjoy. Feel the world beats. Let yourself be taken on the global journey that is Radio Babel.

Band Members:
Matt Labesse (bass)
Nassim Kouti (vocals, guitar)
Sista K (vocals)
Soupa Ju (production & management)
Suprem Clem (sampling, programming, keyboards)

Track List:
1. With Or Without The Wall 2:11
2. We Are One 3:58
3. Hasnaduro 3:47
4. Im Nin'alu Intro 1:47
5. Im Nin'alu 3:21
6. Il Était Une Fois Dans L'est 4:02
7. Fever Is Rising 4:30
8. Tangos Del Cachito 3:27
9. Osfour 3:58
10. La Camel 2:06
11. Viens, Viens 4:27
12. Gypsy Dust 4:24
13. Ashanti 5:10
14. With Or Without The Wall (Extended Mix) 4:49
15. El Quinto Regimiento 4:09
16. Overseas Rêveries (Digital Bonus Track) 5:15

Piranha Musik- Radio Babel
Watcha Clan Website

14 July 2011

Klezmer Podcast 82- Mames Babegenush





Klezmer Podcast 82- Mames Babegenush. The interview guests on this episode are Emil Goldschmidt and Bo Rande of Mames Babegenush, from Denmark. The band has a new album titled My Heart Aches When The Angels Dance. The band plays both traditional Klezmer as well as their own original compositions. It is an exciting sound that you are sure to enjoy. From the album we hear the tracks Intro and Kosher Nostra.
Run time: 39:04

Listen here:

13 July 2011

JDUB Closing










Dear Friends, Fans, and Supporters,

I have to share some unfortunate news. After almost 9 years in operation, JDub's Board of Directors has decided to wind down the organization.

The decision to close was entirely financial, as the challenges facing our business model are too great to overcome. We were never a normal record label, nor were we ever just a record company. We always knew that in order to discover, curate, and promote unique, proud Jewish voices and role models in the mainstream we would need to rely, at least in part, on philanthropic support. In addition to buying our albums, sharing the music with your friends, and attending our concerts and events, so many of you supported us as donors, talent scouts, and stream teamers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

JDub would never have grown into the organization that it was without you.

JDub earned half of its annual budget from mission-related revenue, including album sales, concert tickets, and consulting fees, and the other half from foundations and individual donors. The collapse of the music business in the decade that JDub has existed, combined with recessionary effects and aging out of the cohort of Jewish "start ups," made securing the necessary operating support an insurmountable challenge.

We have shared some incredible memories - bringing 3,500 people together for The Unity Sessions at Celebrate Brooklyn; watching Balkan Beat Box play to sold out crowds of Gypsy bikers in Portland; jumping into a spontaneous hora at The Independent in San Francisco while a half naked Golem played frenetically onstage; putting many of you onstage at the Bowery Ballroom for an American Shmidol karaoke battle; being told "I've never felt Jewish until tonight."

We'd love to hear your memories and reflections as well. Please post them on Facebook, or tweet them to @jdubrecords.

Just as JDub modeled what a new Jewish organization could look like and achieve, we will also model how one appropriately winds down. We plan to share as much information as possible, and seek appropriate homes for our successful programs and assets. We hope that our albums will continue to be available on iTunes, Amazon, and record store shelves long into the future.

We are extremely grateful to all of our fans, funders and supporters, the creative and inspiring artists with whom we've had the pleasure to work, their devoted fans, and our innovative and energetic team. We close with heavy hearts, but incredible pride in our collective accomplishments and impact.

We hope you will join us for the last official JDub event this Sunday night on the Roof of the 14th St Y in NYC, where Deleon will play songs from their new album, Casata, which you'll get, along with free beer, when you attend.

Thank you again for supporting us in all our endeavors. It has been a true honor.
Sincerely,

Aaron Bisman
Co-Founder & CEO, JDub


A final JDub snapshot:
- 150,000 event participants in 472 cities
- 35 album releases
- 3 Gold Records
- 3,500 attendees at The Unity Sessions, the largest Israeli/Palestinian concert in the history of the United States
- 52 songs placed in major films, TV shows, or ads
- 800+ mainstream press stories including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, MTV, CNN, NPR, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Billboard, and Pitchfork
- 26 foundation and Federation funders
- 630 individual donors
- 2.7 million unique visitors to Jewcy.com since JDub's adoption


JDub is a not-for-profit that forges vibrant connections to Judaism through
music, media, and cultural events. We also run the website Jewcy.com.
JDub Music Inc | 37 West 28th St, 8th floor | New York, New York 10001
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JDub Music Inc. | 37 west 28th, 8th floor | New York | NY | 10001

17 June 2011

Hot Pstromi in Poway July 9 at 7pm - Please come, and help us spread the word!







Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi*
*(Yale Strom, Elizabeth Schwartz & Jeff Pekarek)

in concert

Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 7:00pm

San Diego Folk Heritage Society
Templar's Hall, Old Poway Park
14134 Midland Road, Poway, CA 92064


This special klezmer event will present melodies of legendary klezmer musician Dave Tarras, "The Benny Goodman of Klezmer", and much more! Beloved Yiddish, klezmer and Hot Pstromi audience favorites from San Diego's legendary, world-renowned klezmers.

Strom will premiere his new biography, Dave Tarras: THE KING OF KLEZMER (with orchestrations by his longtime collaborator, bassist Jeff Pekarek). Yale will read some excerpts from the book and perform some of David Tarras's tunes that were never previously published. You'll be experiencing a night of memories and historic music that goes to the heart of Klezmer and Eastern European music.

SDFH@san.rr.com
Admission: $18 ($15 members)
Advance Ticket Sales: TicketWeb.com

15 June 2011

Klezmer Podcast 81- Isra-Alien





Klezmer Podcast 81- Isra-Alien. This episode features an interview with Gilad Ben-Zvi and Oren Neiman of the band Isra-Alien, from New York. They are a Guitar duo playing Mediterranean-influenced music on Nylon-string and Steel-string guitars. They have released a self-titled album, Isra-Alien. From the album we hear Santorini Sunsets.
Run time: 38:58.

Listen here:

11 June 2011

Klezmer Podcast 80- Breslov Bar Band






Klezmer Podcast 80- Breslov Bar Band. This episode features an interview with Binyomin Ginzberg of Breslov Bar Band, based in the New York City area. The band has released a new album, titled Have No Fear. The band explores traditional and contemporary musical expressions of the Breslov Chassidim. We also listen to the track B'motzoei Yom Menucha from the album.
Run time: 21:52.

16 April 2011

Shotnez Bursts Onto The Scene






Once in a great while there appears on the musical horizon a fresh, new sound that pushes into new areas of the sonic spectrum. Today, that new sound comes from Shotnez, a band formed by Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, of Balkan Beat Box fame. The music comes from an experimental base, but still speaks to us from their Mediterranean roots. Smooth melodies are punctuated with wild improvisations and complex rhythms.

The Guitar lines of Stephen Ulrich have a surf quality that adds another dimension to the antics of Kaplan’s multiple Saxes and Muskat’s eastern punk Drumming and mixed Electronica, while Itamar Ziegler’s Bass holds everything together with finesse. Short bits of spoken word add to the mood and randomness of the endeavor.

The band’s website uses the terms Art Rock, Noise Rock, and Crime Jazz to describe the music, but I think that I can most easily relate to Mediterranean Surf Noir. Shotnez truly is cutting edge music and defies classification by genre. The genre listed in the iTunes Store is “Alternative,” a term that I think is vastly over-used. All that being said, I think that Shotnez is on to something here that is rich, deep, and exciting.

The opener, Stolen Goods is a fast-paced tour-de-force that will whet your appetite for what is to follow. Driving Drums, Bass, and Electronica back the Sax/Guitar lines that have both a Surf and Balkan quality, if such a thing is possible.

Bagdad is a bit more experimental in nature, and has only a slight Middle-Eastern rhythmic quality.

Golden Apples is a bit more low key, with sparse percussion and longer melodic lines from the Saxes, and Jazz Organ pads underneath. Some tasty improvisational turns from the Sax and Guitar add some authenticity and remind us that Jazz is to be found here in some measure. The slightly out-of-tempo bending melody near the end is a nice touch that lets us down easy and shows the soul of the band.

Swag is a smooth groove with a swinging drum feel and great interaction between Sax and Guitar.

New Country starts with a nice Guitar riff, with Bass and Percussion. The Saxes join in with a very smooth Jazz line in harmony, then break into a sweet improv section. I Wish it was a longer track.

Chaos features some cool interplay between Sax and Guitar, with a lot of background Percussion going on. A nice slow jam is happening here!

Untested cranks up the heat with a frenetic beat and cool electronic rhythms going on, and a jazzy line from Sax and Guitar.

New Low is a moderate tempo jam featuring Guitar in a Punk-Jazz vibe followed by the Sax in a similar vein. I guess this is what Crime Jazz is all about. Yeah, baby!

Black Eyed Susan starts off easy, but soon the Saxes come raging in with the melody, supported with the strong attack of Bass and Drums. This is my favorite track and, I think, really defines what Shotnez is all about. Great stuff!

East Broadway takes us back into the Jazz groove, with Sax taking the lead on a smooth line that sounds like it could be a movie score. Probably the most traditional song on the album, it is a fabulous crossover piece for those just discovering the Shotnez universe.

Dear John is a rich interlude for the Guitar. This could also make for a good movie score, as the smooth lines lead to a sense of serenity.

Make It Run takes us back to a bluesy Surf Noir groove, this time with a Vocal. It has a beatnik 1950’s feel that is so cool and so fitting the Shotnez vibe. Check out the driving Bass lines that keep everything moving forward.

Shotnez has burst onto the scene and thrown down the gauntlet for all those Alternative-Punk-Jazz-Rock-Electronica fans out there. These guys are not about to be pinned down to a single music style. They have created their own distinct brand, and that is Shotnez. Enough said! Highly recommended for all of you who enjoy seeking out new sounds and new musical expressions. Yeah, man. Groovy!


Shotnez:
1. Stolen Goods 03:28
2. Baghdad 03:45
3. Golden Apple 05:17
4. Swag 03:09
5. New Country 02:06
6. Chaos 03:51
7. Untested (Fifth Bordeaux) 03:23
8. New Low 03:42
9. Black Eyed Susan 04:35
10. East Broadway Boogaloo 03:04
11. Dear John 02:46
12. Make It Run 04:30

The Band:
Ori Kaplan- Sax
Tamir Muskat- Drums/Electronica
Stephen Ulrich- Guitar
Itamar Ziegler- Bass

Shotnez- JDUB Records

23 March 2011

Klezmer Podcast 79- Polina Skovoroda and Merlin Shepherd


Klezmer Podcast 79- Polina Shepherd (Skovoroda) and Merlin Shepherd. Polina's recent album is titled Civilization, featuring songs in Yiddish and Russian, accompanied by Merlin with Fanfara. On this album Polina explores her musical roots through Jewish, Tatar, Ukrainian, Cossack, and Russian songs. She talks about the Islamic influence of growing up in Tatarstan. Merlin talks about his growing interest in Turkish Clarinet styles.
Run time: 41:12.
Klezmer Podcast 79

08 March 2011

Klezmer Podcast 78- Yemen Blues














Listen to Yemen Blues on Klezmer Podcast 78 here

Klezmer Podcast 78- Yemen Blues. This episode features the new band Yemen Blues. The band has a self-titled debut album, and is on their first North American tour. My interview guests are bandleader and Lead Vocalist Ravid Kahalani and Trumpet player Itamar Borochov. We hear the track Om Min Al Yaman from the album.
Run time: 36:30.

22 February 2011

Klezmer Podcast 76- Yiddish Princess









Click the link below to listen:
Klezmer Podcast 76- Yiddish Princess


Klezmer Podcast 76- Yiddish Princess. On this episode we get to hear from New York-based Yiddish Princess. Yiddish Princess stands feet firmly planted both in the folk poetry of Yiddish song and the enticing sounds of 80s and 90s rock music. We hear the track Ver Vet Blaybn from their recent self-titled EP.
Run time: 22:24.

Klezmer Podcast 75- Joel Rubin





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Klezmer Podcast 75

Klezmer Podcast 75- Joel Rubin. This episode features an interview with Joel Rubin. Joel is a Clarinetist, ethnomusicologist, and is on the faculty of the University of Virginia. This is his second appearance on the Podcast. His group, The Joel Rubin Ensemble, has a new album on Traditional Crossroads, The Nign of Reb Mendel- Hasidic Songs in Yiddish. The album features Rabbi Eli Silberstein on Vocals. After the interview, we hear Esn Est Zikh (Eating Is an Easy Task) from the album.
Run time: 24:48.

Klezmer Podcast 74- Molotow Brass Orkestar







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Molotow Brass Orkestar



Klezmer Podcast 74- Molotow Brass Orkestar. The interview guest on this episode is Reimar Walthert of Molotow Brass Orkestar. The group is based in Switzerland and plays a blend of Klezmer, Gypsy, and Swiss folk music. The self-titled album is available from WM Recordings. We hear the track Baym Rebin's Sude- Galitzianisher Tanz.
Run time: 27:42.

03 February 2011

Klezmer Podcast 73: Jake Shulman-Ment




Klezmer Podcast 73 by Klezmer Podcast

Klezmer Podcast 73: Jake Shulman-Ment. This episode features an interview with Violinist Jake Shulman-Ment. Jake is from New York, and studied with Alicia Svigals and Bob Cohen. Besides leading his own band, he is a member of Romashka. His album is titled "A Wheel" or in Yiddish "A Redele." We hear the track Sher de L'Oiseau from the album.
Run time: 30:32.

31 January 2011

Klezmer Podcast 72- Electro Morocco





See Electro Morocco on Klezmer Podcast here:


Klezmer Podcast 72- Electro Morocco from Klezmer Podcast on Vimeo.




Klezmer Podcast 72- Electro Morocco. For the second video episode of Klezmer Podcast, we have Assaf Spector and Roy Gurel of Electro Morocco. Originally from Israel, these Brooklyn-based musicians bring a fresh sound to their songs. Their style of electro-pop, rock, and middle eastern sensibilities blend together to make a sound that is truly unique. After the interview watch the music video of their song “Down.” Listen and be swept away by Electro Morocco.
Run time: 20:49.