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CD Review: KlezKanada Faculty Anthology 2006

nice try, but too dark to readKlezKanada Faculty Anthology. KKCD-01, 2006. Available from CDbaby.com
[Updated from the KlezKanada newsletter, 24 Aug 2006] KlezKanada faculty include not only the most amazing musicians playing traditional music from Yiddish-speaking cultures of the last century. Faculty also include some of the most amazing musicians playing entirely new types of Jewish music grounded in those cultures. Produced by former KK scholarship kid Eric Stein, this CD is a fundraiser for KlezKanada. All faculty contributed tracks free of licensing charges (and got their record companies to do the same). It not only includes the sorts of things one would expect: tracks by Elaine Hoffman Watts, Steven Greenman and the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble, but also tracks that push the edges from David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness with DJ SoCalled, still-unreleased material from Alex Kontorovich's new band, D Minor, a cut off the brand new Susan Hoffman-Watts CD, and a first recording by an amazing new collaboration by Marilyn Lerner and Adrienne Cooper, amazing material from Shtreiml (hint, they aren't "just" a klezmer band any more) and Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars (personal favorites of the KlezmerShack). I haven't even mentioned the revolutionary (a strong word for such traditional-sounding music, until you think of what has just come together and how well it was done) work by the Strauss/Warschauer Duo. Other artists include Khupe, Beyond the Pale, Pete Rushefsky/ Elli Rosenblatt, and Brave Old World—if you haven't heard them and made up your own mind, you know them from the aforementioned KlezmerShack and general media already.

The CD production was underwritten by the Tauben Family Fund of Irwin and Sara Tauben. Says Stein, summing up succinctly: "I've seen a million klezmer sampler CDs. I think this is the most interesting—top artists performing a veritable cross section of the contemporary klezmer scene." You can read more about this CD in a longer KlezmerShack review, with links to more info about each of the featured artists. [GRADE: A+]

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