247

Aaron Alexander: Midrash Mish Mosh

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Aaron Alexander: Midrash Mish Mosh "Midrash" comes from the Hebrew word "darash," which means "to inquire." "Mis mosh mish" means "mixed-up" or "combination." That was easy; Aaron Alexander explains the terms in the liner notes. Definitions having been provided, this music, part of Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series, is indeed an exhilarating combination. To call it mixed-up would be denying it the power and the glory, the joy and the intensity that it creates.

One could well expect klezmer music to be at the forefront, and it is on many of the songs. But Alexander goes on to shape the pieces with traditional Jewish music, jazz in its harmonies and freedom, and other idioms that jump out and surprise.

For sure, the malleability of the compositions is their most striking aspect. There is no guessing which way Alexander will take them as he goes from one form to another without a crease. At one moment he is describing a ballad, and then the body goes askance from the head to undulate to a dance rhythm as the beat crackles to his ministrations and that of Michael Sarin. Take "Der Rumsisker Maggid/Shema." Greg Wall is all breathy and warm on the tenor, while clarinetist Merlin Shepherd and trumpeter Frank London cut form loose. They come together in waltz time, the melody captivating with Shepherd at the fore, but the pulse cuts the chord and measure before getting back to the 1-2-3.

It's time to kick up one's heels and dance and twirl as the band spins into "Khosn Kalleh Haskalh." The rousing air is made all the more fevered by guitarist Brad Shepik, whose rising temperament shunts into rock, molten shards stopping just short of head-banging terrain. Jagged rhythm, the incendiary scream of the guitar unleashed by Curtis Hasselbring, and a traditional melody raise the curtain to the "Kleyzmish Moshpit," a high-energy, rambunctious tune that even finds a cove in free jazz.


Track Listing: Kleyzmish Moshpit; Kaddish For Carmen; Peep Nok A Mol; Balagan Balaban; Debkavanah; Yiddishe Kop; Khosidl For The Mixed Marriage; Der Rumsisker Maggid/Shema; Khosn Kalleh Haskalah

Personnel: Merlin Shepherd--clarinet; Greg Wall--tenor sax, clarinet, soprano sax; Frank London--trumpet; Curtis Hasselbring--trombone, guitar; Brad Shepik--guitar; Fima Ephron--bass; Michael Sarin--drums; Aaron Alexander--drums; Randy Crafton--rik (track 5)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "This Is Where I Live" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Where I Live
by James Nadal
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!