Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Double Klezmer Wednesday: Cracow Klezmer Band & The Bester Quartet

Bester QuartetI just realized I haven't posted any Klezmer recently. To make up for it, today will be (insert lots of reverb) 'Double-Klezmer Wednesday.'

The first video is by the Cracow Klezmer Band with guest vocalist Grazyna Auguscik. According to their Myspace Page, the CKB formed in 1997 in Krakow, Poland. They've had a number of successful albums on the Tzadik label and have played festivals and concerts around the world.

According to her bio, Auguscik is "is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s World jazz scene. Her elusive style challenges traditional definitions of jazz and show vocalist and musician without boundaries." (I love bio puffery. Does this actually mean anything?). If you like her performance in this video (and I do) check out her website for more info or her new album 'Live Sounds Live' available through CDBaby.

Cracow Klezmer Band & Grazyna Auguscik

And for my second Wednesday klezmer video...The Bester Quartet, the latest incarnation of the Crackow Klezmer Band. Less frielach, more chamber music, the Bester Quartet's "trademark is performance of the music of a vast stylistic range that assimilates some selected elements borrowed from classical, jazz and vanguard music, including the best of achievements of the contemporary chamber music where improvisation constitutes a foundation to build some unique instrumental forms on." (whew, I'm breathless and I only cut and pasted that puff). I love traditional klezmer, but I've come to really enjoy this kind of klezmer infused chamber music. For me, Davka owns this space, but the Bester Quartet is a welcome addition.

Bester Quartet

Hat tip to YouTube users Thomkee and MCKMyslowice for posting the videos.

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