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During a time when Jewish music became an integral part of the downtown NYC and world music scenes, clarinetist David Krakauer's Sunday klezmer brunch at Lower East Side's Tonic enabled multiple generations to rediscover their musical roots in the neighborhood where their forefathers discovered America. This offering chronicles those live performances, and whether it was a traditional "Chusidl" spiced up by the youthful Klezminors, Charm City Klezmer's fresh take on Yiddish theatre, or Metropolitan Klezmer's classic "doina" build into an all out Hasidic free for all, Sundays at Tonic accented a pride in the music's origins, combined with an excitement for its future.
Curator David Krakauer is delightfully much in evidence, with his own Klezmer Madness delivering two memorable performances of their jazz/funk-infused klezmer. Additionally, Krakauer collaborations with beatmaster DJ SoCalled and electric violinist Sophie Solomon reinterpret the traditional "Bb Bulgar" and show past its future on a moving "Electro Taxim." Whereas Krakauer's powerful horn owes allegiance to klezmer clarinet patriarch Naftule Brandwein, Margot Leverett's elegant style and judicious use of ornamentation is more in the tradition of the great Shloimke Beckerman. Her trio's performance of "Tayere Odessa" is a thing of beauty.
Italy-based Meshuge Klezmer, who have released their own live at Tonic CD, serve up a jazz fusion version of "Berdichiever Khosid" before Sway Machinery brings to mind guitarist Dick Dale on the rockin' "Schwier und Schweigger." Female klezmer supergroup Mikveh, with violinist Alicia Svigals leading the way, adeptly navigates the changing tempos of heartfelt nign and up-tempo freylekh, while Basya Schechter and Pharaoh's Daughter show that they can both jam with Krakman on "West African Nign" and convincingly deliver the folky yet compelling "Confession."
Musically remembered as a receptive forum for young bands and a place for seasoned vets to try out new concepts or tune up for international tours, Music from the Winery presents the best of the brunch's five-year run.
Track Listing: 1. Bb Bulgar;
2. Berogovski Tish Nign/Bagopolier Freylekhs/Liebes Tanz;
3. Old Country Madness!;
4. West African Niggun;
5. Berdichiever Khosid;
6. Der Gasn Nign;
7. Rumanian Medley: Doina, Sirba, Volokh;
8. Schwier Und Schweigger;
9. Lomir Zikh Iberbetn;
11. Tayere Odessa;
12. Electro Taxim;
Personnel: Charm City Klezmer,
Klezmer Madness Quartet,
Margot Leverett Trio,
Meshuge Klezmer Band,
Socalled and Krakauer,
Solomon and Krakauer,
The Sway Machinery