Hasidic New Wave

Jews and the Abstract Truth

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Aside from coming up with one of the great album titles in memory, Hasidic New Wave, an avant klezmer band organized by trumpeter Frank London and saxophonist Greg Wall, put together one of the outstanding recordings from this genre that developed in downtown New York City in the '90s. Most of the pieces are from the traditional repertoire, but are attacked in various manners with free jazz squalls abutting grunge rock explosions, somber reflections alongside psychedelic guitar explosions. London is a superb trumpeter in any context, and his playing on songs like the wryly titled "Welcome to the McDonald's in Dachau" compares favorably in quality to almost any other player in the jazz avant-garde. When the group rolls into the funkafied finale, with guest contributions from organist Anthony Coleman and gonzo guitarist Gary Lucas, it's clear that this is not your father's klezmer. Jews and the Abstract Truth may owe little to Oliver Nelson, but it is a fine recording and an excellent introduction to the genre.

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