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Review: favourite american klezmer recordings

fogie 19 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM
fogie 21 Feb 05 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 Feb 05 - 12:05 PM
PoppaGator 21 Feb 05 - 12:11 PM
Mark Cohen 21 Feb 05 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Gerry 21 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 21 Feb 05 - 07:25 PM
Once Famous 21 Feb 05 - 09:06 PM
Gypsy 21 Feb 05 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 22 Feb 05 - 03:58 AM
fogie 22 Feb 05 - 12:50 PM
Seamus Kennedy 22 Feb 05 - 02:49 PM
PoppaGator 22 Feb 05 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,ulli 23 Feb 05 - 02:47 AM
Mark Cohen 23 Feb 05 - 03:04 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 05 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Guest Dick Shay 23 Feb 05 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,John 24 Feb 05 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 24 Feb 05 - 12:23 PM
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Subject: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: fogie
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM

I saw "Burning Bush" in Ludlow last week end, I already had heard them on radio and CD, but it was one of the best music nights out I can remeber for a long time.
For those into this sort of thing, especially our American friends -are there favourite lists of CDs/ recordings that I should consider buying from the American bands such as Klezmatics, Klezmer Conservatory band, Andy S's orch ,and Brave Old World - it's just that they have so many CDs listed in amazon it would be nice to have some reccommendations. Have got the "rough guide" which is good, and the Itzac Pelman two cds which were my introduction to the idiom.
I was watching the BBC awards last night, and thought how hackneyed the British folk scene has become, and what a joy it is to hear a vibrant fusion of east and west played by high quality instrumentalists.
Two local UK Midlands bands perform to this sort of standard, and it is a shame they are not more widely heard, writing and playing complex tuneful music -I would commend both Hoover the dog and Parampera, for an introduction to music outside the usual fare.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: fogie
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 11:46 AM

go on - there must be some cars out there who know about this


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 12:05 PM

I don't know this music well at all, but I have one observation. I can hear a real klezmer sound in the jazz playing of Sidney Bechet and other jazz clarinetists of his era. A minor key and high tremolo sound that set their playing apart. Of course, in some few Benny Goodman recordings the klezmer clarinet sound is there, but that is understandable given Benny's Jewish backgrounding.

But which came first -- the European immigrants with that sound, or the black jazz clarinetists with the sound. Who influenced who? Or did they evolve separate but equal?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 12:11 PM

Interested in current American Klezmer? You absolutely must consider the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars:

Here's a review of their album "Manichalfwitz," featuring this quote: "Brave Old World and the Klezmatics may have Europe covered, but NOKAS is the American Klezmer bar band, par excellence.

review

Here are links to info on two recent CDs, each featuring a couple of audio clips:

Fresh Out the Park

The Big Kibosh


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 04:28 PM

Fogie, check out The Klezmer Shack website. News, CD reviews, an exhaustive worldwide band listing by name and by location, and more, from a site that's been around for ten years.

Klezmer is my cultural tradition, though I didn't really rediscover it until the early 80's when I was living in Portland, Oregon (of all places) and heard a band called the Hester Street Klezmer Band, led by Yankl Falk. I'd been very much involved in traditional British Isles folk music, sea shanties, and the like, and when I heard the Hester Street band play it hit me with a powerful "Oomph!" -- "Hey, this is MY music!" I had taken it in subliminally, listening to the Sunday morning Yiddish radio shows in Philadelphia that my dad liked, but never really paid attention to it.

Traditional klezmer bands consisted of just clarinet or violin and tsimbl (cymbalom) which is kind of like a hammer dulcimer on steroids. If you want to hear authentic klezmer clarinet, Giora Feidman and Andy Statman are probably your best bets. Later bands added more instrumentation. Among my favorites are Kapelye, Klezmorim, and Shirim. I'll also put in a plug here for our "local" group, Kona's Traveling Jewish Wedding Band.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:58 PM

I don't think you can go far wrong with any of the bands you mentioned,
but here are a few albums I know & like:

Andy Statman Klezmer Orchestra, Klezmer Suite
Klezmer Conseervatory Band, Yiddishe Renaissance
Kapelye, Future & Past (if this is not available on CD, try Levine and his Flying Machine)
Yale Strom, Cafe Jew Zoo (or Garden of Yidn)

Now you asked for American bands, but as good as the American bands are,
there's no reason to limit yourself to the USA.

Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band - that's the name of the band and the CD. They're Canadian.
Sukke, Introducing Sukke - they're European

Three Australian bands:

Klezmania, Oystralia
Spielazoi, Shtetl
KaOZ Klezmer, OY! KaOZ Klezmer Live

You may have trouble finding these last two. You might be able to reach Spielazoi
at spielazoi at iprimus dot com dot au, and KaOZ Klezmer at www.kaozklezmer.com
or fineyfarm at australia dot edu.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 07:25 PM

There are some new kids on the block---literally! The People's Republic of Klezmerica is a Columbia, Missouri, based group of young muscians, many are students, that will be performing again at this year's Big Muddy Folk Festival in Boonville, Missouri on April 1st and 2nd. Their leader, a young fellow named Jordan Wax, listens to old 78rpm records, then teases out the various parts for his band members to play. They were enthusiastically received two years ago and are back for another performance. They can be found on the web, and if you are a fan of klezmer, I recommend them highly.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Once Famous
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 09:06 PM

By far, the leading klezmer band in Chicago for the last 20 years has been the Maxwell Stree Klezmer band.

I have seen this fabulous group of musicians/entertainers numberous times and own a few of their CDs.

Their web site is:

http://www.klezmerband.com/

Art Thieme, I believe separate but equal.

My grandfather came from Russia in the late 1910s and was a klezmer clarinet player bringing the music over with him like many others. The west side of Chicago had a wealth of this music playing in halls every weekend. My mother told me he was quite active playing for weddings and other simchas.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Gypsy
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 10:02 PM

Itzhak Perlmans "The Fiddlers House" has him playing with several terrific groups.........i LOVE the Klezmatics, and anything by them would be a good choice. Davka is another fabulous band, more middle eastern sounding. Shirim does and incredible version of "The Nutcracker Suite"must be heard to be believed. You haven't lived until you've heard "The dance of the SugarPlum Fairy" with clarinets.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 03:58 AM

If you want to listen to and learn klezmer, I think you are still better off getting early recordings- both from America and Europe. There aren't so many recordings available of European stuff, but it often has a quite different flavour from the (particularly later) US scene. This is presumably because of the different social surroundings- the Americans more centred on music hall and the ethnic recordings market, Europeans more on the traditional celebrations, with the recordings being often parlour style performances by scholarly collectors.

It's notable that Irish music developed in radically new directions under similar American influences- notably the pipes as we know them today are actually largely a transatlantic variant.

But klez has come a long way since the 70s, and is really exciting because it is still developing, and because there are so many unexplored ways of interpreting it.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: fogie
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 12:50 PM

Many thanks to you all for your excellent suggestions and ither sites to visit.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 02:49 PM

The Alexandria Kleztet, from Alexandria, VA. are excellent too.
Seth Kibel and friends form the Kleztet.
I love their album Y2Klezmer.
www.kleztet.com

Seamus Kennedy


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 03:42 PM

I missed Art's question in post #3 above, but checked back after reading Martin's reply. I have something to add ~ it might be more speculation than verifiable historical fact, but here goes anyway:

New Orleans, as an international port, has always been a fairly cosmopolitan city, and has had a sizable Jewish community as long as any American city has. During the years when jazz developed, there were Klezmer bands active in the city, and there certainly must have been Jewish musicians with Klezmer backgrounds playing in the popular dance orchestras that were part of the breeding ground for jazz. Indeed, it is very likely that (as always) some musicians played in more than one band at a time, and perhaps even more likely that one or more hotshot clarinet players held positions in Klezmer and general-interest outfits simultaneiously.

There certainly is a similarity between the clarinet parts of Klezmer recordings and early jazz recordings like those of Sidney Bechet, just as Art noted above. This approach probably predates Sidney, going back to the times before recording technology.

I've also heard and read that there are parallels between the makeup (instrumentaiton) of the typical Klezmer group of the 1880s/1890s and the classic trad-jazz lineup. I can't elaborate or argue this point, just pass it along. The prominent role of the clarient in both genres is pretty obvious, of course. The violin/fiddle seems to be much more important in Klezmer than in jazz, but some writers ahve pointed out that violinists were important figures in the early days of jazz.

So, maybe jazz and klez did NOT develop "separately but equally." There is some evidence that Klezmer musicians were involved, to some extent, in the development of jazz in New Orleans (where, as we all know, jazz first emerged).


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,ulli
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 02:47 AM

Great recordings by the band KLEZMERICA.
I'm surprised that this band has not been mentioned yet in this thread.

Have a look for yourself at http://www.frozenchozen.com/index.html


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 03:04 AM

I second the recommendation to listen to Shirim's Klezmer Nutcracker (scroll down for sound clips). What I enjoy about the recording is that Tschaikovsky based so many of his compositions on traditional Russian folk tunes, some of which may well have been played by Eastern European klezmer musicians. So this really represents a full musical circle.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 11:09 PM


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,Guest Dick Shay
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 11:19 PM

I have a recording by the Bagels & Fraylocks Klezmer Band of the Williamsburg, VA area. The title is Captured Live at the Library or some such. Got it at their last concert at the Library. I'm at work and don't have the CD handy. They are really a good group and sell out the Williamsburg Library whenever they play there. Another group from the State College area of PA called Simple Gifts has gotten more into Klezmer in the past few years along with their Celtic offerings. Just my two cents worth.                                                                                                                                     Chanteyranger,
I plan to order your new CD tomorrow when I'm off duty. Looking forward to it as the sound clips are really good. Haven't joined Mudcat yet.

Dick Shay


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,John
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 11:26 AM

KLEZMERICA... a very intersting group, indeed. Had never heard of them before. Thank you for the tip.


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Subject: RE: Review: favourite american klezmer recordings
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 12:23 PM

All very interesting points on both separate but equal AND seeing the lineage between jazz and klezmer. Either way, a good discussion.

Art Thieme


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