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New Klezmer Music Books offer Joy of Klez

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band / Joy of Klez
Puwalski, Tom, The Clarinetist's Guide to Learning Klezmer

Two announcements in the last month (the second accompanied by some very beautifully scores) about Klezmer Fake books. Both answer common needs.

The first book is actually a series of books, and it answers one of the most common question I get asked by people interested in starting a klezmer band: "Where do I get arrangements?" Well, from Tara Music, where you can get the largest selection of Jewish music overall, and now you can get this exquisite collection. It's put together by the fine folks at Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, in whichever parts you want: the score, the bass/trombone parts, the piano/violin/flute parts, or the clarinet/sax/trumpet parts. These books are ideal for anyone starting a band: Junior Klezmer Orchestras, synagogue klezmer bands, or even starting out with some friends and some enthusiasm--all are going to benefit from these books. The "score," the main fake book, also comes with a CD so you can hear how the arrangements sound. The tunes were originally recorded in the first golden age of American klezmer music, 1910-1940. As one would expect from books produced by Tara, the printing and typography are clear and impeccable.

From: Lori Lippitz
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001
Subject: Re: new books from Tara

book coversThe Joy of Klez
from the Repertoire of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
Tara Publications, 2001

"We put an exhaustive amount of work into the The Joy of Klez.... The project came about as a result of several people asking me for charts for their synagogue or jr. klezmer orchestras. I have been running a JKO since 1994, and it is a gratifying experience....

"If you have the books in hand, you can see that they are four books containing arrangements of ten pieces, most of which are from the traditional klezmer repertoire (one of which is an original). We worked on making sure that the parts "mesh" together--you don't need the full compliment of instruments in order to get the full ensemble sound. Tbone and Eb sax double several harmonies, as do clarinet and tpt, etc. Also, an advanced clarinetist can use the clarinet part while a beginner can use the tpt part, which is down an octave and less ornamented. The arrangements are based on original recordings, but some are almost transcriptions while some are original.

"There is a CD enclosed to facilitate learning or playing along. Most of the pieces are played through two times, the first time being literal to the chart and the second time demonstrating possible improvisations."

David Chevan writes the Jewish-music mailing list about how much he enjoys teaching an inexperienced ensemble using these new charts. Posted to the KlezmerShack 26 Feb 2003.

For the beginning klezmer clarinet player. The announcement was originally posted to the Jewish-music mailing list, by Tom Puwalski, clarinetist with DC-based Lox & Vodka. Reprinted with permission of the author:

From: Tom Puwalski
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001
Subject: The Clarinetists Guide to Learning Klezmer

My new book, The Clarinetists Guide to Learning Klezmer. Is now available from:

International Musical Suppliers
Phone: 1-800-762-1116
or Tom Puwalski -

The Clarinetists Guide to Learning Klezmer is a how to book for Clarinetists who want to learn how to perform "traditional" Klezmer. It includes 16 transcriptions of the recordings of Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein, and a plethora of all sorts of clarinet information. Feel free to email any questions and Comments. I've included the Table of Contents:

What is Traditional Klezmer?
Types of Klezmer Music
   Let's Dance
   And Now For Something Different
Klezmer Ornamentation
I Just Pulled the Clarinet Out of the Closet After 25 Years and Want to Play
   Technique -- How Should I Practice?
   Practice Session A -- Get the "Chops" You Need
   Practice Session B -- Listen to Klezmer Music
How Can I Learn To Play Klezmer Music?
Using This Book and Musical Examples
Thoughts on Putting Together a Band
   Books, Other Study Aids and Tools
   Sources for Klezmer Music and CDs
   The Place I Buy Any Clarinet Related Items
   My Equipment Choices

Tom Puwalski, Clarinetist with Lox and Vodka and former principal Clarinetist with the United States Army Field Band

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Contents copyright © 2001 by Dena Ressler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Page last revised 11 June, 2007.