David Krakauer: The Big Picture Featuring David Krakauer (2014)
A conspicuous stylist, Krakauer's brainchild is colorful, dense and largely festive along with his astute adherence to compositional detail. On "Willkommen" from Cabaret, violinist Jenny Scheinman tenders dainty nuances via her string-plucking maneuvers. But drummer Jim Black kicks matters into an oscillating pulse, countering vocalist Liza Minnelli's original jubilance with a high-impact makeover, also accentuated by the clarinetist's stinging notes. Nonetheless, the musicians' charismatic interplay often induces aural caricatures of the original performances.
With "The March (From the Love for Three Oranges)" from Woody Allen's Love and Death film score, Krakauer directs a march progression with cinematic flair and wholehearted wit, including Rob Burger's folksy accordion lines and the band's morphing of idiosyncratic treatments with triumphant choruses. Other pieces are enamored by the leader's howling and soaring phraseology, sometimes implemented with the band's down-home, roots-oriented undertow, contrasted with melancholic passages and outlined with resonating backdrops.
"Keep It Gay" from Mel Brooks' comedy The Producers, features more of Burger's folk-driven accordion work, complemented by the musicians' oddball electronics and percussion- based background shadings that lull you into a daydream before the ensemble unleashes a rousing, celebratory gala. Yet Krakauer digs deep with his emphatic rendering of the somber ballad "People, from Funny Girl. Hence, the artist injects new and enlivening panoramas with emotive exuberance into these time-honored relics of film and stage.
Track Listing: Willkommen; La Vita E Bella; Si tu Vois Ma Mere (If You See My Mother); Body and Soul; Moving To The Ghetto; The Family; Honeycomb; Love Theme; Keep It Gay; People; Tradition.
Personnel: David Krakauer: clarinet and bass clarinet; Jenny Scheinman: violin; Adam Rogers: guitars (1, 2, 4-12); Rob Burger: piano, celeste, pump organ, Hammond organ, accordion and vibes; Greg Cohen: double bass (1, 2, 4-12); Nicki Parrott: double bass (3); Sheryl Bailey: guitar (3); Keepalive: loops (3); Jim Black: drums and percussion.
Record Label: Table Pounding Records
Style: Modern Jazz