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.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tzadik


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Pulsation" CD/LP/Track Review Pulsation
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 1, 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!