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Naftule’s Dream: Smash, Clap!

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This is without a doubt the most startlingly original, audacious music I’ve heard since the previous Naftule’s Dreams cd, last year’s Search for the Golden Dreydl. What else can you say about a band that combines klezmer music and free jazz with feedback guitar into an organic, fully realized whole? It’s a remarkable balancing act of discipline and unabashed noise, technical brilliance and a completely contrary punk/no-wave aesthetic.

This rowdy bunch of musical renegades from Boston whips up more klezmer madness on their sophomore outing. Led by clarinetist Glenn Dickson, Naftule’s Dreams takes a decidedly irreverent approach to the ancient tradition of klezmer. All the strict discipline that the genre demands is there in the tightly executed unison lines, tricky stop-time maneuvers and odd time signatures. But the soloists are constantly at liberty to wail like they’re in Muhal Richard Abrams’ band. This all makes for an astonishing juxtaposition of cohesion and surprise.

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