Greg Wall's Later Prophets returns to Boston 1/26/08
Greg Wall is a member of several amazing bands. His simkha band, Klezmerfest is one of the sharpest of the genre available in the New York area. His avant garde band, Hasidic New Wave, co-founded with Frank London, is also amazing. But my favorite Greg Wall ensemble is probably the band that pulls both of those sides together and melds them into a klezmer-jazz fusion, so thoroughly grounded in nusakh and klezmer, yet also as exciting as Weather Report at that band's height. I wouldn't stay away barring an emergency.
Last January the ensemble came to town to do some student teaching workshops at Gans Academy, culminating in a concert by the band and the students. The idea was to push the notion that one can be traditionally Jewish—yeshivish, even—and still pursue uncompromising music and the arts. Later Prophets rocked. The students did, too, which has to partly be a tribute to Wall's (and band's—including one of the world's great drummers, Aaron Alexander) ability to communicate. He doesn't just play amazingly deep music, he can teach it.
I didn't have time to write at the time, and now I can barely make out my notes from the time (note that I refused to let them go—they've been sitting next to the computer for a year waiting for this inspiration and opportunity)….
… vision of bones? Ezekiel saw the wheel (Afr-Am Spiritual) … Egyptian pop tune (sounds like hasidic nign — Tisch Nign from Stlyner … grandmother taught him papirosn — at one point Alexander, in fierce intensity, kicks over a drum. Wall walks over and pulls it out of the way … the song ends in rhythmic, throbbing chaotic intensity; builds and builds ….
Anyway, the band will be here in Boston Saturday night, Jan 26, 2008. Here are the details (they'll also be on the calendar, shortly, but I couldn't wait):
Saturday, January 26, 2008 8:00 p.m.
Greg Wall's Later Prophets
The prophetic visions of Ezekiel are some of the most fascinating and vivid of all ancient texts. The traditional melodies used to chant them in the synagogue have been with us for ages, and serve as the inspiration for saxophonist Greg Wall’s Later Prophets. Featuring master percussionist and long time collaborator Aaron Alexander, seriously grooving bassist David Richards, and keyboards phenom Shai Bachar, the quartet manages to simultaneously straddle the gates of the ancient and avant-garde, while creating a musical experience that is as timeless as the texts themselves.
Hope to see an SRO crowd. You'll be thrilled you went, and it's time Boston gave music this interesting some props.