16 December 2005

DJ Earball, your klezmer guru...

Someone told me today that they're learning about klezmer music from me. This makes me a little nervous, for while I know that many klezmer musicians aren't observant Jews, well...at least most are Jewish! But I suppose I know more than the average goy, so I'll pass that along to you. And feel free to tell me what a putz I am if I get something wrong.


This time of year the Klezmer Nutcracker by Shirim Klezmer Orchestra takes up residence in my brain. The first half of the album klezmerizes Tchaikovsky's tunes, while the second half does the same for Satie, Brahms, Chopin, and others. Here's their version of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

[mp3] Shirim: Dance of the Latkes Queens
Buy CD

This bold group of talented musicians also does a version of Peter and the Wolf, renamed Pincus and the Pig (and narrated by Maurice Sendak).

But no, I'm actually not thinking exclusively about klezmer today. I also wanted to point out some free music from Senegal available from WM Recordings in the Netherlands. The group Salam from Casamance spreads a musical message of peace and love, and makes their album available for free download. Hope they've found a way to make peace and love pay their bills!

[mp3] Salam: 01. Laaré
[mp3] Salam: 02. Drogue
[mp3] Salam: 03. Tara
[mp3] Salam: 04. Allhou
[mp3] Salam: 05. Kairo
more info and downloadable album covers here

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