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Abraham, Inc. featuring David Krakauer, Fred Wesley and Socalled, with C-Rayz Walz

David Krakauer

On the anniversary of James Brown’s birthday, it seemed fitting that one of JB’s most valued sidemen from the late ’60s, his former musical director and trombonist Fred Wesley, would be doin’ it to death at the legendary Apollo Theater. But on “Hava Nagila”? Oy!

This endlessly surprising yet highly successful hybrid of klezmer, funk and hip-hop had the enthusiastic crowd-young and old, Jews and gentiles, whites and blacks-dancing ecstatically in the aisles like it was a Jewish wedding. Wesley brought the funk while virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer delivered the passionate intensity and deep Jewish soul that ties him to the lineage of klezmer clarinet kings like Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras. Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist and visionary beat architect Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, provided a bridge between the klezmer and hip-hop worlds with his audacious Hebraic rapping while the Bronx-bred emcee C-Rayz Walz brought street cred to this unlikeliest of collaborations with his remarkable freestyling facility and stark urban imagery.

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