213

Shirim: Pincus and the Pig

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Complete with sticker sheet and illustrated story book, Pincus and the Pig is a joyfully Jewish take on every child's introduction to the symphony orchestra and its instruments. It also serves here as an apt family entrée to the wonderful catalogue of the Boston based klezmer ensemble Shirim. At the forefront of the musical evolution that would become Radical Jewish Culture with their 1993 release Naftule's Dream, the band has subsequently assumed two distinct personalities. Taking their name from the CD title, the more "out Naftule's Dream (named for traditional klezmer's wildest king of the clarinet, Naftule Brandwein) continues to forge new ground in the world of "radical Jewish music. Shirim has maintained a quasi-traditional persona, releasing well-played klezmer along with interesting klezmerized classical works, such as their 1998 version of the Tchaikovsky classic, Klezmer Nutcracker.

Continuing in that vein, their klezmerification of Sergei Profiev's 1936 Peter and the Wolf through clever and traditionally grounded arrangements is a resounding success. In many ways more Russian sounding than the original, with narration by grandfatherly Maurice Sendak, the misadventures of the boyish Pincus are musically represented by Glen Dickson's artfully chirping clarinet. Pincus enlists a cast of engaging musical characters as he does battle with David Harris and Jim Gray, whose trombone and tuba menacingly depict the villainous pig "Chozzer." Appearances by drummer Eric Rosenthal's "Cossacks and Brandon Seabrook's cat-like banjo along with Grandfather tuba musically re-weave the familiar plot. Unceremoniously dragged off to the non-kosher butcher, thanks to Pincus and Michael McLaughlin's brave bird-like piano, Chozzer meets his predetermined demise. Klezified arrangements of Brahms, Mahler, and Rimsky-Korsakov are added to the main tale for a classically-inspired family charmer.

Track Listing: Introduction; Did You Hear of Boychick Pincus?; The Duck and the Birdie; Suddenly Pincus Spied a Cat; Zeyde Comes Out; No Sooner had They Disappeared Inside; So Now, This is How Things Stood; Fly Down and Tease the Pig; Suddenly Cossacks Sprang Out of the Woods; Now, Imagine the Triumphant Procession; And If You Listen Very Carefully...; Scheherezade (Rimsky-Korsakov); Waltz (Brahms); Gnoissienne No. 4 (Satie); Mazzesinsel Strut (Mahler)

Personnel: Maurice Sendak (narration), Glenn Dickson (clarinet), David Harris (trombone), Brandon Seabrook (banjo, mandolin), Michael McLaughlin (piano, accordion), Jim Gray (tuba), Eric Rosenthal (drums)

Title: Pincus and the Pig | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Tzadik


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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