The Rough Guide to Klezmer Revolution (RGNET1205CD) will be released August 25, 2008 in North America. The eclectic collection celebrates the latest klezmer sounds, ranging from the reinterpretation of classic Yiddish lyrics to completely new texts, using non-traditional instruments, or no instruments at all. The Rough Guide to Klezmer Revolution departs from the concept of klezmer as solely Yiddish, or even Jewish music, inventing a new thrilling genre that has very little in common with the klezmer music of the 19th century.
Composer/trumpeter Frank London is a versatile musician. A member of The Klezmatics and Hasidic New Wave, he also leads his own Klezmer Brass All Stars. The Klezmatics have taken Yiddish music to a new level of musicianship and creativity. One of their aims is to tackle taboo subjects in the Jewish community, such as gay rights, and they have re-written numerous classic Yiddish heterosexual love songs and wedding ballads to fit this agenda. This modern jazz- and rock-inspired klezmer has revolutionized the genre, and has earned the band a Grammy award.
A controversial track alt. shul Kale Bazetsn’ is taken from groundbreaking recording by Solomon & SoCalled. It is an assault on the traditional institution of marriage. Josh Dolgin (aka SoCalled), featuring twice on this release, is a pioneer in Yiddish hip hop with his innate talent for blending a traditional Hassidic chant with an old school breakbeat. The all-women klezmer supergroup Mikveh began when playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) asked klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals to assemble a klezmer band to take part at the gala event V-Day in New York. The group stands in stark contrast to the traditional roles of Jewish women. Mikveh brings their spin on Jewish roots music that draws on the uniquely female experiences such as pregnancy and miscarriage, bas mitzvah and domestic violence.
The music of David Krakauer‘s Klezmer Madness! blurs the lines between klezmer, world music, jazz, rock, funk and hip-hop. A veteran on the klezmer scene, Krakauer has performed with the Klezmatics, SoCalled, Itzhak Perlman, and Sophie Solomon. Krakauer’s brilliance with the clarinet has led to collaborations with the Tokyo String Quartet and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. Michael Winograd is one of the leading young voices in the klezmer movement. A virtuoso of the clarinet, he is one of just a handful of klezmorim composing new material.
On his recordings, Winograd stretches klezmer’s boundaries, incorporating elements of jazz, classical and even pop music. A klezmer veteran Wolf Krakowski possesses one of the most unique voices in Yiddish music, something in between Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. His personal story is compelling: in the aftermath of World War II, his parents were arrested in Italy while being smuggled to Palestine. Krakowski was born in 1947 in an Austrian displaced persons camp, and the family eventually found refuge in Sweden, and later emigrated to Canada.
Oi Va Voi came together in England in the late 1990s, and pooled their diverse musical backgrounds in jazz, hip-hop, rock, and klezmer. Vocalist K.T. Tunstall joined the ensemble for their first album, ‘Laughter Through Tears’, a recording that blurred the lines between klezmer, Sephardic, Hungarian folk, and modern electronica. The result was a host of accolades including a nomination for a BBC World Music award. Amsterdam Klezmer Band fuses three of Europe’s most popular folk styles, Balkan, Gypsy and klezmer. The infectious ‘Sadagora Hot Dub’, remixed by German DJ Shantel, proves that today’s klezmer knows no boundaries.
Also featuring on this compilation are Margot Leverett & The Klezmer Mountain Boys, Shtreiml, The Flying Bulgars, The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience featuring Quartet Ashkenazim, Moguilevsky & Lerner and Theodore Bikel, and Marilyn Lerner and Oi Division featuring Psoy Korolenko & Daniel Kahn.
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