Billed as a marriage of fiddle and microphone, Hip Hop Khasene unites traditional Jewish klezmer dance music with contemporary DJ beats and mixes. The bride is Sophie Solomon, AKA London Jungle DJ Starets and resident violinist for klezmer band Oi-Va-Voi that features drum n’ bass and house along with traditional melodies and rhythms. The groom is Josh Dolgin, AKA master magician mixologist DJ Socalled and resident beatmaster to New York City’s klez-elite.
Both bride and groom evidence deep respect for tradition on beautiful straight klezmer pieces like the fiddle and tsimbele "Dobriden", the doinaesque violin/clarinet duet “Electro Taxim” and the bride’s homage to her great grandmother “Pagamenska”. At the same time, century old “badkhn” style raps are updated in a master MC duel filled with irreverent pokes at the “institution” by the groom. There are instances when the festivities do cross over into one-off novelty, but what the heck, it’s a wedding, eat, and enjoy, and mingle with the wedding party.
And what a wedding party it is. The best man is clarinetist extraordinaire David Krakauer, who toasts the marriage with some superb swing-klez playing. Krakauer is especially evident on the very hot dance mix duet “Freylekhs far de kale” and on a techno version of “Gasn Nign”. Master MC “The Real Slim Litvak”, Michael Alpert, adds an authentic and authoritative air to the proceedings while top trumpeters Susan Watts and Frank London get the party started by pumping out the klezmer brass infested “Freylekhs fun der khupe: Pelt me with Rice”.
The most impressive aspects of Hip Hop Khasene, though, are the mixes. Given the freedom of a full CD, DJ Socalled is able to expand on his previously strong singular efforts for both London and Krakauer. Into each mix he weaves morsels from comedy albums, the Yiddish theater and a potpourri of dubbed in samples. The final “bonus” remix, “Headphoines”, is a break beat celebration of the whole affair that augurs a long and happy marriage. With no apologies to the film, Solomon and Socalled may have produced the phattest wedding yet. Hip Hop Khasene is available at www.digitallisallstars.com.
Track Listing: Introduction, Dobriden, Badd-knones, Freylekhe far der kale, Kale Bazetsn, Electro Taxim, 7 Blessings, Freylekhs fun der khupe: "Pelt me with Rice", Hassidish, Gasn Nign, Zay Gezunt-Pagamenska, Bonus Track: Headphoines
Personnel: DJ Socalled (beats, loops, samples), Sophie Solomon (violin, vioara cu goarna), Josh Dolgin (accordion, glockenspiel, wurlitzer, vocals), David Krakauer(clarinet), Michael Alpert (badkhn), Nik Ammar (guitar, pint glass), Zev Feldman (tsimbl), Susan Hoffman-Watts (trumpet), Frank London (trumpet)
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.