Naftule's Dream: JOB (2002)
Naftule’s Dream is the avant-child of clarinetist Glenn Dickson’s Shirim Klezmer Orchestra. Where SKO preserves the traditional Klezmer, Naftule’s Dream extends it into a modern context of rock, free improvisation and jazz. Dickson, trained as a classical clarinetist, easily sheds any pretension for this new generation of music making. Job is the third release by ND. It follows Smash, Clap! (1998), the heavily rock-influenced Klezmer-meets-RaymondScott outing.
While JOB relies less on rock-and-roll, it has a more diverse feel. ND is moving towards a noisier, Tin Pan Alley songbook. This disc, recorded live, has the familiar sound of Henry Threadgill’s Very Very Circus recordings. Where else have we heard the tuba/ accordion/ electric guitar combination? Where ND parts with Threadgill is in their multi-directional approach to music. With Glenn Dickson and Michael McLaughlin sharing the music writing chores and the musicians contributing individual voices, there is plenty here to maintain this music. Drummer Eric Rosenthal, a veteran of recordings with Anthony Braxton, Either/Orchestra and free jazz saxophonist Bhob Rainey, follows in a line of modern accent drummers like Joey Baron and Matt Wilson. Guitarist Pete Fitzpatrick is equally at home in the sideshow, the reggae den and industrial noise factory. ND filters the music of Eric Satie through a Tom Waits looking glass on “Gnossiene #1” and “Gnossiene #2.” They recast Fiddler on the Roof’s “To Life” as a fully orchestrated act of de-arrangement and cartooned mayhem.
Expect the Klezmer revival to morph again soon and continue on.
Track Listing: Dirge Sirba; Back In The Sewer; Job; Industrial Bulgar; Shasha; Gnossiene #3; Springtime Music For A Saddended Wunderkind, Pt. 1; Gnossiene #1; Naftule
Personnel: Glenn Dickson
Record Label: Tzadik
Style: Modern Jazz