David Krakauer / Klezmer Madness

Album cover: Duotone. Macho dude blowing clarinet.

David Krakauer / Klezmer Madness
Tzadik (1995)

CDs, MP3s available via David Krakauer's website.

Like the Anthony Coleman album that follows this in this new series from tzadik, this album is more jazz than klez. Former-Klezmatics clarinetist Krakauer teams up with the group's drummer, David Licht, and Michael Alpert (Kapelye, Brave Old World) to push the jazz envelope a bit in a klez sort of way. Towards this end they have taken several klez standards (most often as heard on recordings by Naftule Brandwein) and "jazzified" them. The results aren't bad, although the clarinet playing is a bit more macho than I personally prefer. If nothing else, though, at least this feels both like klez and like jazz, and both are reasonably exciting--something I can't say about some earlier jazz/klez explorations.

Jazz fans might have more fun with this.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 7/8/95

From: capital@valleynet.com (Ken Emmer/Capital Equipment)

I'd like to hearty recommend a tremendous new CD very aptly entitled: "Klezmer Madness!"

Virtual unknown but exceeding mad clarinetist David Krakauer teams up with well known Michael Alpert of Brave Old World fame. Together with percussionist David Light, the Krakauer Trio creates a solid connection between tradition and current jazz.

If there is some supposed "tonal" reason that the clarinet has not been in the forefront of today's jazz reed scene, Krakauer smashes that myth. He screams out of his horn rivaling the wildest of sax players.

Words fail music, so check it out yourself. This album is a must for anyone keeping up with the exploding klezmer phenomenom. You'll enjoy it or your money back (at Tower).

Reviewed by Ken Emmer, 6/19/95

Personnel this recording:
David Krakauer: clarinet and bass clarinet
Michael Alpert: accordion and vocals
David Licht: drums


  1. Africa Bulgar (trad., arr. Krakauer) 3:42
  2. Bogota Bulgar (trad. arr. Krakauer/Alpert/Ortega) 4:06
  3. A few bowls Terkish (trad., arr. Krakauer/Alpert) 4:37
  4. At the Rabbi's Table (trad., arr. Coleman) 5:14
  5. Doina / Death March Suite (trad., various) 10:32
  6. Funky Dave (Tarras, arr. Krakauer/Rogers) 4:17
  7. the Ballad of Chernobyl (lyrics: Michael Alpert; music: trad., Alpert/Coleman) 5:19
  8. Gong Doina (Krakauer/Licht) 2:19
  9. Living with the H Tune (trad., arr. Krakauer/Alpert) 6:03
  10. Rachab (John Zorn) 1:27

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