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26 February 2015

Klezmer Podcast 121- Simja Dujov

Klezmer/Jewish music from Argentina

Klezmer Podcast 121- Simja Dujov. Another episode from the 2014 Ashkenaz Festival, my guest is Simja Dujov of Argentina. There is a diverse Jewish music scene there, and Dujov pushes the limits with his DJ mix of Klezmer, Gypsy, Cumbia, and Surf music. He puts on a high energy multimedia show that keeps the audience on their feet. We hear the track Shalom from his album Santificaras La Fiesta.

23 February 2015

Review: The Sway Machinery- Purity and Danger

The Sway Machinery Purity and Danger

Jeremiah Lockwood’s The Sway Machinery is about to release their third album, Purity and Danger, and fans of the group will be well rewarded for the long wait since their last release in 2011. For those new to the high energy music offered by Lockwood, the band combines dance- worthy grooves with ancient Jewish melodies and Cantorial singing or Hazzanut from Lockwood. The result is very hip, while at the same time paying respect to traditional Jewish texts. 

The opener and title track Purity and Danger gives a quick taste of what the band is all about.
A rocking horn section against a bluesy, surf-inspired rhythm section. As a brass player, I am always interested in new, inventive ways a horn section can be used, and TSM has established itself at the forefront of innovation with creative arrangements, high energy horns, and, of course, the magical voice of Lockwood. 

A favorite track is My Dead Lovers Wedding, sung in English, dealing with the idea of Jewish resurrection. Between Lockwood’s vocals the horn and rhythm sections trade off in a life-and-death duel perfectly matched to the lyrics.

Longa gives a nod to surf music, with a tinge of distortion on the Electric Guitar. The band is on full display here, including a haunting Trumpet solo. 

Another favorite is Od Hapaam, with it’s complex arrangement and tight harmonies. And the addition of backing vocals gives this track a different character, and hopefully could get some radio play. 

I’ve always been impressed the the sonics on the TSM recordings. There is a sense of depth,
and the vocals have a distant quality, as if performed in a an ancient Temple. It is a unique blend of sounds, and gives the band a distinctive sonic signature. No other band sounds like this.

Listening to TSM, I am reminded of the diversity of Jewish music beyond the genre we call Klezmer, and it gets harder to put a label on much of the music that’s been produced in recent years. That said, I am happy to put TSM in a class by itself, truly without any resemblance to another band anywhere. Experience the beauty and power of The Sway Machinery for yourself, and see if you don’t agree.

Klezmer Podcast 120- Steven Greenman

Klezmer Podcast 120- Steven Greenman. This episode features an interview with ViolinistSteven Greenman. Steven is a long time Klezmer musician who is also a master of Gypsy/Roma and Classical music. Here Steven speaks about his recent projects such as a collaboration with Chinese Pipa artist Gao Hong. He also performs regularly withHarmoniaJoel RubinPete RushefskyKurt BjorlingAnnette BjorlingAlexander Fedoriouk, and Heather Klein. His latest album is Stepenyu’s Neshome, and we hear the track Plea/Supplication.
Run time: 20:58.