Bubbemeises: Lies My Gramma Told Me

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All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
David Krakauer could easily have carved out a career as a classical or traditional klezmer musician, but the clarinetist has always had grander ideas, and Bubbemeises is one of his grandest yet. Krakauer and his regular band, Klezmer Madness, team up here, as they did previously on 2004's Live in Krakow, with Canadian DJ/sample-meister Socalled Josh Goldin, who co-produced Bubbemeises in addition to bringing in many of the outré sounds and beats that give the album its cutting-edge sonic flavors. The result crosses lines repeatedly: hip-hop sensibilities crash headlong into donya Romanian folk music; avant-garde jazz and James Brown funk lines support spoken word samples ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
David Krakauer could easily have carved out a career as a classical or traditional klezmer musician, but the clarinetist has always had grander ideas, and Bubbemeises is one of his grandest yet. Krakauer and his regular band, Klezmer Madness, team up here, as they did previously on 2004's Live in Krakow, with Canadian DJ/sample-meister Socalled Josh Goldin, who co-produced Bubbemeises in addition to bringing in many of the outré sounds and beats that give the album its cutting-edge sonic flavors. The result crosses lines repeatedly: hip-hop sensibilities crash headlong into donya Romanian folk music; avant-garde jazz and James Brown funk lines support spoken word samples from a Jewish stage actor of a bygone era Herschel Bernardi. This is expectation-defying, genre-less music, to be sure, and if it weren't for Krakauer's superior way with his instrument and his uncanny ability to slap such disparate elements together and get them to make sense, it might all have been a big old mess. But it's not -- it pulls together coherently and excitingly into a total work that raises the bar for modern Jewish music, music that pays homage to the past but squarely defies it. The title, Bubbemeises, refers to the old, exaggerated, often improbable tales and life lessons Jewish grandmothers of another era routinely gave the young. Krakauer uses them to draw attention to the greater untruths we face every day from those who would control our destiny. Its weighty message and underlying levity carry over to the title track's musicality as well: there's a giddiness to the rhythm but a seriousness to the deep bottom and densely layered samples that dance above the track's klezmer foundation. Further along, tracks like "B Flat a la Socalled" and "Turntable Pounding" which updates the song "Table Pounding" that appeared on Krakauer's 2002 album The Twelve Tribes flirt even more treacherously with tradition. Getting toward the end, "The Electric Sher" and, especially, the more familiar "Rumania, Rumania" written by Aaron Lebedeff show up to remind that this is, ostensibly, klezmer music. But just to make sure no one mistakes the album for a traditional recording, Krakauer and Socalled imbue the latter with sinister, brooding tones, free jazz/quasi-metal improvisation, and hellish samples. What bubbe would say is anyone's guess.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2006
  • Label: LABEL BLEU RECORDS
  • UPC: 794881779420
  • Catalog Number: 6677

Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Krakauer Primary Artist, Clarinet, Vocals
Trevor Dunn Bass
Michael Sarin Drums
Will Holshouser Accordion
Nicki Parrott Bass
Sheryl Bailey Electric Guitar
99 Hooker Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Technical Credits
David Krakauer Arranger, Composer, Producer
Raphaël Jonin Mastering
Traditional Composer
Pierre Walfisz Executive Producer
Ross Bonadonna Engineer
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