Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
108

Naftule's Dream: Live In Florence

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count Views
Naftule's Dream: Live In Florence Okay, you have your clarinet and your accordion. A relative predominance of minor Jewish folk melodies. More than ample foot-stomping beats. But does that make it klezmer? Yes and no. Naftule's Dream has crafted a postmodern deconstruction of klezmer which sneaks in such dominant instruments as the electric guitar and the tuba (!). That makes their sound but a distant cousin of the music most people outside the Faith don't tend to listen to very often. And for those (like me) with klezmer allergies, have faith! This will heal you!

You can learn who started the thing and who composes for it and all that from the liner notes. Concentrating on the music that results, it's basically a version of modern jazz's in-out combination. Parts of the music feature tunes you can sing along with, and other parts travel to heretofore unknown regions of outer jazzspace. When things get hot and heavy, it's interesting to see how Naftule's Dream combusts. (The accordion can scream just as piercingly as the clarinet, in case you were wondering.) These musicians obviously have spent some time together, because they are tight when it comes to playing in their ever-shifting pastiche of moods and colors. When things get quiet, you get to hear the lonesome cries of the tuba and the ethereal echoes of the guitar. All in context, all nakedly real. Often quite fun. Who can argue with the heavy funk groove on "Dirge Sirba," for example, whatever the icing on top?

Parts of this music sound arranged (the heads, mostly) but the rest has a very spontaneous feel. It's most definitely a live performance, have no doubt. Like any group of this size (a sextet), the combinations that emerge between different players and instruments are what make the music work. Funk here, a stomp there, a stark cry, quiet conversation, and whispers about silence. You can invent a category. Whatever it is, it's certainly only part klezmer.

(And for Naftule-philes, this fine live performance most definitely sits atop the heap, and we're not on Tzadik any more.)

Visit Innova on the web.


Track Listing: Free Klez, I-IV; Aimless Path; A Prayer for No One; Industrial Bulgar; Dirge Sirba; The Sitting Man; The Wanderer; A Friend of Kafka; Dischord.

Personnel: Glenn Dickson: clarinets; David Harris: trombone; Michael McLaughlin: accordion; Pete Fitzpatrick: electric guitar; James Gray: tuba; Eric Rosenthal: drums.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Innova Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


  • Blood
    Blood
    Naftule's Dream
    Blood
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Blood
Blood
Self Produced
2016
buy
Live In Florence
Live In Florence
Innova Recordings
2002
buy
JOB
JOB
Tzadik
2002
buy
[no cover]
Jōb
Tzadik
2001
buy
[no cover]
Smash, Clap!
Tzadik
1998
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.