Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Hasidic New Wave: From the Belly of Abraham

Following a wave of klezmer revivalism that happened in the ’80s (ushered in by Andy Statman’s Klezmer Orchestra, the Klezmer Conservatory Band and Klezmorim), a number of renegade klezmer units began popping up on the alternative music horizon, including the Klezmatics, Naftule’s Dream, David Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness and the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars. One of the brightest and most fiercely uncompromising alternative klezmer band to emerge in recent years is Hasidic New Wave. Formed by trumpeter Frank London and clarinetist/saxophonist Greg Wall, this renegade bunch has combined the signature scales of Jewish music with the fatback grooves of James Brown, free-jazz leanings and plenty of freak-out electric guitar work courtesy of David Fiuczynski, perhaps the most original and audaciously talented plectorist on the scene today.

After a string of solid recordings as a working quintet, drummer Aaron Alexander came up with the novel idea of grafting African drummers onto the group’s uniquely Jewish sound. The result is this inspired collaboration that at once harks back to shtetls (villages) of Eastern Europe and mother Africa; a brilliant Afro-Semitic fusion best represented here by Alexander’s “Bo-Peep” and London’s cleverly named “Spirit of Jew-Jew.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published