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Album Review

When European Jews brought klezmer to the U.S., the music became more and more Americanized. Without losing its distinctive beat or Middle Eastern influences, klezmer incorporated swing and jazz elements in the 1930s and '40s. Klezmer Plus!, a New York sextet led by clarinetist Sid Beckerman and tenor saxman Howard Lees, recalls the klezmer of the 1940s and '50s, when one might have heard Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw as well as traditional Yiddish music in a Jewish-American home. (Beckerman is, in fact, the son of the respected Jewish musical traditionalist Shloymke Beckerman, who recorded for Columbia in the 1920s). Loose, improvisatory and clearly jazz-influenced, this incredibly infectious music should be experienced by both jazz enthusiasts and admirers of Jewish-American culture.


Genre: World

Years Active:

Lees has helped direct the revival of interest in klezmer in recent years, and like many other klezmorim, has managed to revitalize this Old World music by melding...
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Klezmer Plus!, Howie Leess
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