Shirim and Maurice Sendak collaborated on this funny and delightful remake of Prokofiev's "Peter & the Wolf," with Maurice drawing on his family memories to recreate the story in a Jewish Shtetl in Poland. Peter is replaced with his father's name, Pincus, and the wolf with the most unkosher pig. Maurice performed the narration, sounding like your Yiddish grandfather, created beautiful illustrations of each of the characters, while Shirim worked its magic on the music, creating a klezmer classic. The album is filled out with remarkable klezmer arrangements of Rimsky-Korsakov, Mahler and Satie. Contains the story booklet with Maurice's illustrations. This is an instant classic, and the only available recording of Maurice Sendak performing his own work. Maurice Sendak, narration; Glenn Dickson, clarinet; David Harris, trombone; Michael Mclaughlin, piano & accordion; Brandon Seabrook, banjo & mandolin; Jim Gray, tuba; Eric Rosenthal, drums.
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Shirim's irresistable recasting of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite is both ingenious and joyous! You will never listen to the Nutcracker again in the same way- here it has been transformed into a Chanukah ballet, featuring the March of the Macabees, Waltz of the Ruggelah and the the unforgetable Kozatsy 'til You Dropsky. The integrity of the arrangements as well as the spot-on performances take this beyond novelty territory into an cultural statement with artistic resolve. Filling out the album are more "klezmerized" arrangements of classics: Gnossienes by Satie, Mahler's 1st Symphony, Romanian Rhapsody, and as well as Brahms and Chopin. An unforgetable album!
Mayse (Tales) Shirim sticks almost exclusively to traditional klezmer music, but with their relentless drive to create within the tradition. Drawing from the repertoire of Naftule Brandwein, Dave Tarras, Moshe Bergovsky, Shloimeke Beckerman and others, the band expands on the repertoire with magical improvisations and arrangements. A sense of magic and storytelling is created as the music is interwoven with field recordings from Ellis Island, bar mitzvah receptions and more. A stunning display of the versatility of the music, from hot improvsations on the dance tunes to the meditative peace of the wedding welcoming tune (Dobriden). The one original, Glenn Dickson's "Tchatchkes," has become a staple at Shirim concerts!
"Oy! It's Good" features vocalist and native Yiddish speaker Betty Silberman on this album of Yiddish chestnuts, new songs and instrumentals. From the nostalgia of Oyfn Pripatchek, the jazz-tinged Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn (with the often neglected intro), to the more obscure Harshl, a song about organized crime in Warsaw, complete with a killing shout chorus, and the high energy opener, Lomir Zikh Iberbeytn, with new lyrics by Betty Silberman which take the songs intimate lyrics to a more universal call for peace. The instrumentals punctuate and contrast with the vocals, traditional tunes played to their rollicking max in Shirim tradition, and some poignant originals by Glenn Dickson.
Shirim's "Naftule's Dream" recording was both ahead of its time and nostalgic. Looking back with high energy renditions of Lebedeff's "What Can You Makh?," and Taras' " Nokh a Gleyzl Vayn," the band looks forward with highly creative arrangements and originals. The epic jazz-rock leanings of "Az me fort kay Sevastopol (On the way to Sevastopol)," the klezmer tone poem "Naftule's Dream" and the dreamy arrangement of ""Oy, dortn, dortn, ibern vaserl (Oy There, Overt the Water)" pointed to new directions, towards less sentimental and more expansive klezmer music. The album name served as the name of a new band the members created to expand those ideas and artistic urges, and the band, Naftules Dream, became a fixture on the radical Jewish music circuit. (See the Naftule's Dream band recordings below).
Shirim's first CD, as with most of their work, looked to the past and the future. With the duel vocal punch of Rosalie Gerut and Betty Silberman, They cover clasics with scintillating Barry Sisters style close harmonies on Oy Mame Bin Ikh Farlibt, And the Angels Sing, and the novel Coney Island. Rosalie's contributes stunning originals: Sahrah's Lullaby and Hagar's Lament (from the Joseph Papp production of "Songs of Paradise") and Shabbat Shalom Tsuzamen. The instrumantals are dominated by Glenn Dickson compositions including the premiere recording of "The Black Wedding," based on an I.B.Singer song, which has been covered by bands in Europe & the U.S An auspicious debut for the band!
Naftule's Dream's most recent recording expands their wide pallet of stylistic approaches. With 8 originals and one arrangement, the album juxtaposes the spacious, almost ambient, "Sitting in Some Train..." with the slow-burn rock groove of the title track, and the traditional-leaning doina of "Klez Spiritual" gives way to the high energy compositional journey of "Chasing Ivo Livi." "Naftule's Dream's latest CD is the first to feature cornetist Gary Bohan and guitarist Andrew Stern. Eight originals and one arrangement, the compositions encompass many styles. The spacious, almost ambient "Sitting on Some Train..." bumps up against the slow burn rock groove of the title track, the traditionist doina in "Klez Spiritual" gives way to the impressive high energy journey of "Chasing Ivo Livi." "Overall a bit more introspective than earlier releases, the warmth and the cohesive ideas of Naftule's Dream are very much as rich as ever." -Milo Miles, Fresh Air/ NPR
Recorded at the end of a European tour in 2002, this recording captures Naftule's Dream at their scintillating best. Featuring many tunes from the "Smash Clap" and "Job" sessions, it also contains two tunes not available on any other recordings. On the Innova label. Glenn Dickson, clarinet; David Harris, trombone; Michael Mclaughlin, accordion; Pete Fitzpatrick, guitar; Jim Gray, tuba; Eric Rosenthal, drums.
The third CD for Tzadik captures Naftule's Dream in front of an inspiring audience, live in Boston 2000. Exciting compositions both old and new, and a charming Jewish take on the music of Erik Satie, Job is another brilliant musical statement by one of the most important bands in the New Jewish Renaissance. Mixed by producer extraordinaire Bill Laswell. Glenn Dickson, clarinet; David Harris, trombone; Michael Mclaughlin, accordion; Pete Fitzpatrick, guitar; Jim Gray, tuba; Eric Rosenthal, drums.
Naftule's Dream's 2nd release on Tzadik, from 1998, saw the band solidifying its approach. Strong rock inspired compositions like The Black Wedding and Yid in Seattle, Michael Mclaughlin's awesome Free Klez suite which seemlessly injects free jazz sections into finely tuned compositiions. Mixed by the remarkable Bill Laswell. Glenn Dickson, clarinet; David Harris, trombone; Michael Mclaughlin, accordion; Pete Fitzpatrick, guitar; Jim Gray, tuba; Eric Rosenthal, drums.
Naftule's Dream's first Tsadik recording, from 1997, helped kickstart the "Radical Jewish Culture" series with a fully formed conception. Seven remarkable original compositions, two groundbreaking arrangements of traditional tunes, exploratory improvisations, a cranking tuba, drums, electric guitar and accordion rhythm section, and a totally new-yet-rooted-in-tradition sound burst on the scene with remarkable force.Glenn Dickson, clarinet; David Harris, trombone; Michael Mclaughlin, accordion; Pete Fitzpatrick, guitar; Jim Gray, tuba; Eric Rosenthal, drums, with guest vocalist Betty Silberman on one tune.