167

Anthony Coleman: Shmutsige Magnaten: Coleman Plays Gebirtig

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Coleman: Shmutsige Magnaten: Coleman Plays Gebirtig
Mordechai Gebirtig was, as Anthony Coleman explained at a performance of the composer's work at The Stone in February, a writer of Polish folk songs evoking the hardships of Jewish life in the '30s and '40s. More a poet than a musician, Gebirtig would often sing or hum melodies to others to score. Coleman has given programs of Gebirtig's work at festivals in New York and Europe, and he broke out the songbook again at The Stone.

He's such a strong interpreter and arranger that it's hard to tell where the composer ends and he begins. Some pieces on this solo piano disc receive what seems to be a straight reading, others get a ragtime interpretation that may or may not have been in Gebirtig's vocabulary. But the most striking of the ten pieces here are clearly very much Coleman. With preparations to the piano strings, Coleman creates buzzes and metallic voices within the case to haunting effect. With titles like "Hulyet, Huylet, Kinderlekh ("Rejoice, Make Merry, Children") and "S'Brent ("Our Town is Burning"), Gebirtig clearly approached a range of subject matter, and Coleman's interpretations serve to intensify the joys and sorrows of the compositions.

Shmutsige Magnaten was recorded in a synagogue during a midnight concert at the 2005 Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, and the sound is more evocative than audiophilic. Reverberating and a bit thin, close-miked enough to hear Coleman release the pedals at the end of a piece, the record fits the material well. One almost wishes post-production pops and surface noise had been added, as if—like the scarce, surviving Gebirtig scores—it were a lost document from decades past.

Track Listing

Mayn Yovl; Mamenyu An Eytse; Kartofl Zup Mit Shvamen; Avreml Der Marvikher; Oy Briderl, L'Chaim; S'Brent; Hulyet, Hulyet, Kinderlekh; S'Izs Gut; Minuten Fun Betochen/Minuten Fun Yiesh.

Personnel

Anthony Coleman: piano.

Album information

Title: Shmutsige Magnaten: Coleman Plays Gebirtig | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tzadik

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Transformation
Glenn Close/Ted Nash
Special Edition: Procedural Language
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp
Ever Since The World Ended
Lauren White and the Quinn Johnson Trio
Rah! Rah!
Claire Daly
Summer Water
Scott DuBois
Nox
Nate Wooley / Liudas Mockunas / Barry Guy /...
Phoenix
Vasko Atanasovski

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.