Listening to this live klezmer recording reminds me of my mother sending me off to elementary school wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day. She would say, “On Saint Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish.” I remember asking, “even Frank Sinatra?”
“Yes,” she would reply, “Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and even Annette Funicello.”
You see, David Krakauer reminds us that klezmer music is jazz or at least that jazz was born from that New Orleans cauldron of blues, European, and African music. That’s why the klezmer revival fits so well with the diversity that is new jazz. You want to debate this? Go find yourself a blog and debate away.
Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness is the leading klezmer band working today. He has ability to bridge traditional music with modern sound. This live outing, recorded in June of 2003, opens with samples of traditional Middle Eastern singing, bridged by hip-hop beats, Krakauer’s distinctive clarinet, and, get this, funk/rock guitar! There you have it folks, the history of music from your great grandparents getting on the boat to your kid scratching your favorite LPs in the basement.
This recording is Krakauer’s fifth, and it displays the excitement he brings this music in a concert setting. The inclusion of beat generator Socalled mixes the offerings Krakauer has for his audience. This isn’t disco beats for beats' sake. It’s jazz, brother, and Socalled is an integral part of this band. So is guitarist Sheryl Bailey and funk bassist Nicki Parrott. Klezmer was/is the music of the people, just like Krakauer's interpretation.
Traditionalists will also be pleased by his pared down “Naftule’s Nussach” with accordion accompaniment by Will Holshouser. Krakauer draws from the rich well of tradition, but doesn’t ignore he was born well after the big one, WWII.
Okay, so maybe Sinatra wasn’t Irish on St. Patrick’s day, but I’m certain he would have raised a glass to toast this K-Madness.
Personnel: David Krakauer - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet; Socalled - Samples, Beatbox; Will Holshouser - Accordion;
Nicki Parrott - Bass; Sheryl Bailey - Guitar; Michael Sarin - Drums.