David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!

Klezmer Madness!

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Klezmer Madness! Review

by Stacia Proefrock

David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness sits on the edge of the Klezmer tradition and is always jabbing at its boundaries. The music is always a little bit more unbridled, a bit more passionate, and a tad more discordant than your bubbe's klezmer records, which is not to say that it falls into the same camp as other punk, pop, or jazz-oriented groups that treat klezmer like a quaint novelty. Krakauer, with his virtuoso clarinet playing and incredibly tight and talented backing band, always shows respect for the heart of klezmer music -- these songs orbit around a pure core. The only tune which truly journeys out into left field is "Living With the H," which deconstructs and reassembles the ubiquitous classic "Hava Nagila," a song which almost begs to be messed with. The effect is not unlike a jazz band who can tip their hats to tradition without having to hash out another tired version of "My Foolish Heart." Krakauer has accepted that klezmer has never been a static form of music and has no problem imbuing his own sense of creativity into Klezmer Madness within the constraints of this classic style.

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