15 December 2016
16 November 2016
Funk meets Hip Hop meets Klezmer
|David and Keith|
|David and Fred in concert|
|L to R: Socalled, David Krakauer, Eric Stein, Fred Wesley|
Clarinetist David Krakauer and DJ Socalled have been great musical collaborators for many years. But the move to add Trombonist Fred Wesley sent them on a new trajectory to a new sonic landscape. Abraham Inc. blends Klezmer, hip-hop, and Funk in a way that creates a new genre that sets a new standard for Jewish music. Here, I sit down with Krakauer and Wesley to find out what motivated them to join forces and create this new sound. Like the track Push, a perfect example of this sound, blending Funk and hip-hop with a nigun. And we also hear Moskovitz Remix, showing how well they can take on a Klezmer tune. Run time: 34:50.
08 November 2016
26 May 2016
Klezmer Meets Jazz
This episode features an interview with Clarinetist Paul Green, who has released a new album of Jazz/Klezmer, Music Coming Together. Green does a great job of blending the two genres, particularly on the Klezmer tunes Der Gasn Nigun and Papirosen. But he also is comfortable going the other way, too, as seen in So, Nu? his Klezmer take on the Miles Davis tune So What? After the interview, we listen to the track Tarras Doina and Blues.
Run time: 35:07.
18 May 2016
10 April 2016
At once a thrilling whodunnit, a maddening romance, and an invigorating plunge into history, TheTsimbalist is a tale of Jews and Russians, depicting their complicated friendships, their dangerous enmities, and their illicit loves, all seen through the eyes of Avrom, a barber, musician, all-aroundmensch, and born detective.
The year is 1871. The inhabitants of Balativke live in delicate balance – until a young Russian aristocrat is found murdered near the home of Koppel, a poor Jew. With the police unable to unravel the mystery of the aristocrat’s murder, and blame falling upon Koppel amid a rising tide of anti-Jewish feeling, a desperate Avrom attempts to prevent disaster for his community by searching out the truth himself.
Learning as much about the people he lives among as he does about the slain Arkady Olegovich Efimovski, Avrom finds that few are who they seem. But could one of his neighbors really be a murderer?
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04 April 2016
29 March 2016
Thanks to Yiddish Book Center for this great mini-doc about our friend Pete Sokolow.
We spent 12 years at KlezKanada learning to play Pete's Klezmer music. He remains a great inspiration and role model for me and all of us in the Klezmer community.
17 February 2016
09 February 2016
25 January 2016
Arrangers Sam Eastmond and Nikki Franklin are back with the latest release from The Spike Orchestra, this time on the legendary Tzadik label. The music here is all from John Zorn’s Masada Book Two, Book of Angels Volume 26. Once again, the band brings it’s genre-bending skills to bear on these wonderful tracks. From full-on swing to distinctively middle-eastern rhythms, they cover a wide gamut of styles. Full brass arrangements, with fiery Sax solos, and inventive orchestrations bring the listener into the Spike world with no place to hide. Once you start this album there is no stopping until the end.
Think of Stan Kenton, Chick Corea, and John Zorn as you listen to Cerberus. Driving Bass and Drums keep the pace flowing, behind flying Sax and Horn solos, and then changing to delicate and sparse woodwind and brass passages, keeping the sonic landscape changing. Check out the lead rhythmic figure from the Bari Sax on Armasa. This track has all of my favorite Spike elements.
Then check out the multi- Sax soli on Thronus. Driven in the middle of this heavily rhythmic track, the Saxes take over.
Bass Clarinet handles the introduction on Shinial before the band takes over with a Klezmer-influenced passage that leads to a jazzy Keyboard solo. That’s the fun of this album- the style changes within each track to bring a string of surprises everywhere you look.
Trombone takes center stage on Donel with the band roaring in the background.
The band quiets down for a Sax solo with the rhythm section. Then the band enters with full Spike-ness, moving things along at a brisk pace.
Avant-Garde fans will love Pahadron, the final track. Here we find a wordless Voice joining the rhythm section, soaring over the band. Along with grunge Guitar and soaring brass, Spike leaves the listener with their indelible blueprint. In fact, we are left at the end with only the sound of amplifier hum, a final salute from a band that has left everything they have to give in the recording studio.