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Klezmer Madness

David Krakauer

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Clarinetist David Krakauer is an accomplished performer and composer in classical music, jazz, and klezmer-based music. After completing his master's degree at Juilliard — where he studied under Leon Russianoff — Krakauer studied at Sarah Lawrence College and the Paris Conservatory. While in his early twenties, he had turned away from playing jazz to focus on his classical career. Krakauer went on to record for the Nonesuch, Xenophile, Eva, Opus One, and CRI labels. He has played with...
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Klezmer Madness, David Krakauer
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