Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

250

David Krakauer: Bubbemeises: Lies My Gramma Told Me

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Composer/klezmer and classical clarinetist David Krakauer has accrued a nice string of releases over the last five years, working with the under-distributed French Label Bleu imprint. 2001's A Hot One went toward the jazzy end of klez and The Twelve Tribes, from the following year, punched it up with a bit of a rock edge. But the surprise came in 2004, when he augmented his long-standing Klezmer Madness! band to include jazz guitar, accordion and sampler. The impact of the live record was considerable, but this followup, Bubbemeises, is a more finely honed stab at the same formula.

What makes Krakauer stand out among the many klezmer acts which have circulated over the last decade is that he is essentially a modern traditionalist: he retains the playful spirit of the music and the focus on fast, energetic playing, but he never tries to pretend he's living in the past. Klezmer has always borrowed from other styles—Catskills entertainers of fifty years ago were famous for rewriting popular songs to include Jewish themes and Sephardic scales. Krakauer has likewise adapted bits of hip-hop into his mix, but he's too smart and too good a bandleader to let it be entirely cheap or hokey.

And he's able to pull it off in large part to the Montreal-based pianist, singer, rapper and beatbox programmer SoCalled, whose influence extends strongly across the record. SoCalled is able to conjure up the past, the "lies my gramma told me, through sound samples while keeping things fresh with propulsive (and decidedly canned) beats. It frees up accordionist Will Holshouser, guitarist Sheryl Bailey, electric bassist Nicki Parrott and drummer Michael Sarin to play Krakauer's lively compositions.

The band marked its leader's 50th birthday on December 2 at Zankel Hall with a concert that featured one set of "purer" klezmer readings, followed by a set with a second guitarist and a horn section led by funk legend Fred Wesley of the JB Horns. SoCalled held back on the samples, making the event feel more concert hall than dance hall, but Wesley more than made up for that. Like Maceo Parker, who was also a staple in James Brown's live bands, Wesley stayed tight in the midrange, demonstrating showmanship without getting showy. A decade ago, such a meeting of black and Jewish music would have been received as important and even symbolic. It was refreshing to hear just good, joyous music at the concert.

Track Listing: Bubbemeises; MS N.C.; Moskovitz and Loops of It; B Flat a la Socalled; Turntable Pounding; Long...Short, Long (Les Colocs); Bus Number 9999; The Electric Sher; Rumania, Rumania; Rue Mania.

Personnel: David Krakauer: clarinet, bass clarinet, vocals; Sheryl Bailey: electric guitar; Will Holshouser: accordion; Nicki Parrott: acoustic bass, fretless electric bass; Trevor Dunn: electric bass; Michael Sarin: drums; Socalled: sampler, sequencer, vocals, accordion, organ; 99 Hooker: speaker; Phillip Shaw Bova: echoplex.

Title: Bubbemeises: Lies My Gramma Told Me | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Label Bleu

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Label Bleu
2016

buy
Checkpoint

Checkpoint

Table Pounding Records
2016

buy
The Big Picture Featuring David Krakauer

The Big Picture...

Table Pounding Records
2014

buy
 

Best Of

Cristal Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019