" /> the KlezmerShack: September 2010 Archives

« August 2010 | Main | October 2010 »

September 16, 2010

New 4-CD Bulgarian re-release, "Outsinging the Nightingale"

“Outsinging the Nightingale”
Lost Treasures of Bulgarian Music 1905-1950

4-CD Compilation on JSP Records on sale September 14, 2010 features 100 Selections, 97 Never Before Reissued; 8-page Illustrated Annotated Booklets

The only-known recordings of the legendary folk quartet Bishtrishka Chetvorka, the pioneer turn-of-the-century acoustic efforts of the Gramophone Company, the earliest recordings of the icons of Bulgarian folk song Vulkana Stoyanova, Mita Stoicheva and Boris Mashalov, heretofore unavailable sounds of clarinet masters Ramadan and Gosho Lolov, Demir Cholakov and Ahmed Babakov, and the stunning artistry of accordion master Boris Karlov are some of the highlights of “Outsinging the Nightingale—Lost Treasures of Bulgarian Music 1905-1950”, a 4-CD collection on JSP Records on sale September 14.

The compilation is the culmination of 30 years of in-depth research into the Bulgarian commercial recording industry by American researcher Lauren Brody, and is the continuation of her seminal 1998 reissue “Song of the Crooked Dance” on Yazoo Records. None of the selections contained in these two collections have been available anywhere. Through the untiring efforts of Ms. Brody, these unique and important recordings, critically important in the documentation of Bulgaria’s cultural history, will finally reclaim their rightful place in the musical soundscape of Bulgaria.

The set, which costs $29 and is available online, at songofthecrookeddance.com, and in retail stores, is being issued by JSP records in the new “The Sound of the Balkans” series.

"This amazing compilation expands our appreciation for the diversity and richness of Bulgarian music… For those familiar only with Bulgarian music recorded after WWII, this is an enlightening and exciting historical perspective." Mark Levy, Ph.D. University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

The goal of the collection is to make available, for the first time, both to Bulgarians and to the music-loving public at large, a rich, multi-faceted musical heritage that lay buried for so long, the innocent victim of war and politics in 20th century Bulgaria.

For more information on the collection, visit www.songofthecrookeddance.com.

September 12, 2010

"Black Sabbath" on NPR this morning

cd coverWe were fortunate enough to hear Josh Kun talk about Jewish music at the Ashkenaz Festival at a talk based on his book, And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost. Using album covers as signifiers, he walked us through early releases, and spent wonderful time on both black-Jewish and Latin American-Jewish fusions of eras gone by. Now his re-release team, the Idelson Society, has released a collection of music documenting Black-Jewish interactions in an era gone by: "Black Sabbath." You can hear about it on NPR:

The Secret Musical History Of... 'Black Sabbath'?

This complements a link I have been meaning to post for a couple of weeks, Exploring the Jewish influence on black American music, by Ezra Gale in the SF Weekly. Josh Kun really seems to get it.

September 1, 2010

Blown away from "The Other Europeans" in Somerville, MA last night

An amazing show by "The Other Europeans" in Somerville, MA last night. The place was packed on a Tuesday night, much to everyone's astonishment and delight. (Well, the dancer's might have wanted more room)

The band plays a mix of lautari and klezmer music with an intense energy level, and with an ability to improvise together that continually blows me away. So many members of the band are famous in their own right, from Kalman Balogh, king of the Hungarian tsimbl, to Matt Darriau, best known as the reed player for the Klezmatics.

The killer moment in a killer evening, for me, came on a duet featuring Matt and bassist Mark Rubin (perhaps best known for his alt.country band, the Bad Livers). I have simply never seen anyone attack a standup bass with such ferocity such that Darriau pushed his own clarinet faster and farther than he may have known he could do (Rubin's playing, and his effect on his bandmates are well-known--a performance a couple of years ago with Andy Statman at the Ashkenaz Festival was my personal highlight of that festival). But the whole damn band was like that--14 people at times, crowded on a bandstand that seems crowded with half that number.

It was the sort of concert so transforming that people took a very long time to leave. We all had to stand around talking about what we'd just heard, and sharing the joy of being at a concert so intense and wonderful. And, of course, this was also the sort of event that turns into a social occasion—everyone who loves this kind of music was there, it seemed, so a lot of fun catching up happened in the afterglow of the fiercely great music.

At our tables we just enjoyed the concert—we didn't do any filming or recording. But you can catch last week's concert at the National Yiddish Book Center on YouTube (clip below)