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Album Review

Without any advance notice it might be difficult to discern that this is a live recording — thanks to Bill Laswell's superb mix translation and the engineering team's state-of-the-art post-production techniques. No doubt, the sound processing denotes a mere additive to this band's intelligent melding of Jewish traditional music with modern jazz and hard rock-style backbeats. With their third effort, this sextet pronounces a rather quixotic demeanor via intermittent spurts of pathos, fun, and frolic. On "Dirge Sirba," tubaist James Gray's pumping lines serve as a catalyst for clarinetist Glenn Dickson's wailing choruses, where accordionist Michael McLaughlin's chord clusters might parallel the role of rhythm guitarist. And while the musicians frequently pursue climactic opuses amid a few nimbly devised time changes, guitarist Pete Fitzpatrick injects some hardcore psycho guitar into the grand mix. The band also probes a few dark corners, evidenced by the dreamscape-like passages on "Back in the Sewer." With their fusion of klezmer with airy Mediterranean motifs and festive choruses, the band tops it all off with a few nods to the avant-garde. Hence, the musicians' shrewd genre-hopping coupled with their ability to assimilate vast ideas into an identifiable group sound signifies just one of their many calling cards. Emphatically recommended.


Formed: November, 1995 in Boston, MA

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra had been playing traditional Klezmer music in the Boston-area for 14 years when they created Naftule's Dream as a more adventurous outlet for their improvisations and original compositions. The group has continued to evolve, recording two impressive albums, Search for the Golden Dreydl in 1997 and Smash, Clap in 1998, on their own. The Boston Phoenix described Naftule's Dream as a "sophisticated little big band," while the Boston Globe praised the group for its fusion...
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Job, Naftule's Dream
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