Friday, July 9, 2010

Klezmer / Jazz from Argentina .... The Lerner-Moguilevsky Duo

Aleph BetHi folks. Today's great Jewish music find is César Lerner and Marcelo Moguilevsky, the Lerner-Moguilevsky Duo. Woodwind player Lerner and piano/accordion player Moguilevsky are based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and play a lovely, arty, klezmer-influenced jazz. While new to me, they're not a new combo. They've been playing together for 15 years and have just released their fifth klezmer/jazz recording, Aleph Beth. I haven't found a good import source for their recordings yet, but you can order directly from them or download their 2003 recording Sobreviviente from eMusic. (Which I'll be doing shortly).

While most of their press is in Spanish, I was tipped off to them by a recent article in English in the Buenos Aires Herald. It's fine article, but I admit being a bit amused/annoyed by the following comment.
"In Argentina, though, and despite having the largest Jewish community in South America, klezmer remained rather relegated, downgraded to intimate expressions in the private life of the community members, most of all as the music played in festive occasions such as weddings and bar-mitzvahs. "
Yes there is an age old tension between klezmer as country wedding music vs citified cabaret / theater music, but I'm not quite sure how anyone but a city slicker art house music snob could say "downgraded to intimate expressions in the private live of community members" with a straight face. Yay intimate expressions. Bring 'em on. (And bring on the art house too!)

The article follows...
"This is why the oeuvre of Lerner and Moguilevsky, sustained in time and in an impeccable discography, is so important. Both grandsons of Eastern Europe and Russian Jewish immigrants, they have rescued those traditions that were just there, anesthetized in the memory of a whole community, waiting to come to life and flourish again not just as something from a time already gone, but as a present cultural expression with strong links with the present and the past at the same time."
That's my kind of florid prose. I could say that with a straight face. Here's the Lerner Moguivsky Duo playing during Yiddish Summer Weimar, July 2007. There are a lot more videos available on YouTube, so check 'em out.

Hat tip to YouTube user, failsworthpole for posting the video.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Little Small Talk with Shira Kline

Here's a fun interview with Shira Klein (aka ShirLala), one of my favorite Jewish children/family performers, courtesy of Jewish Tampa.

A Little Small Talk with Shira Kline

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nina Stiller - Polish Jewish club & hip hop

Ilan Rosenberg, host of the Jaffa Jive radio show on Ann Arbor's WCBN, just forwarded me two great Polish Jewish music recommendations. The first, the Bester Quartet (nee' the Crackow Klezmer Band,) I know, love, and have written about before. The second, Nina Stiller, I'd never heard of. Thanks Ilan!

Stiller's wild, singing Yiddish with a smoky voice over varying styles of club music. I haven't got any background info on Stiller other than this four year old product description on
Stiller Comes from Poland Where She is a Singer, Actress, Dancer and Script Writer. For this Album, She Enlisted the Help of Leading Polish Producers Magiera and Agim Dzeljilji, Both Well Known on the Warsaw Independent Theatre and Hip-hop Scenes. Together They have Forged a Thoroughly Modern Sound that Fuses Traditional Jewish Songs with Contemporary Club and Hip-hop Sounds, Updating them Like You've Never Heard Before...yet Still Respecting their Awesome Traditional Past! the Result is a Sophisticated Blend that Will Satisfy Even the Most Fastidious of Listeners. The Disc is Enhanced with Three Videos of the Songs "Mayn Shtetele Belz", "Rivke", "Tshiri Bim".
I'll see if I can track down any more info. While I do...check this out.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kroke - High-energy Polish Klezmer

This morning a fellow on Twitter was asking about Polish klezmer bands. I know of two...Klezmafour and Kroke. I've written about Klemazfour before. They're a high-energy klezmer band with an affinity for electronic jazz/rock. I'm a fan. I realized, though, that I hadn't written about Kroke.

Kroke, which is Yiddish for Krakow, is a bit less high-energy than Klezmafour but has a similar affinity contemporary jazz and rock. As Ari Davidow of the Klezmershack blog notes, "The music is too dark to really represent traditional klezmer. At times, it is almost as if the Velvet Underground have been reborn as a klezmer band." That and fact that they draw on Sephardic music as much as klezmer gives them a broad, world-music-stage kind of sound. I've found their presentation to be a bit more reverv-soaked theater than I like, but that's just me. No doubt their fine musicians...Check 'em out....

kroke - klezmerzy

Kroke - Ajdejano - Krotoszyn Folk Festival 2007