Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

Pigeonhole This

from the Playboy Blog, 5/29/08

Ever wonder what James Brown’s music would have sounded like if he’d been raised Jewish? Neither have I. But the unlikely collaboration known as Abraham, Inc. asked just that, and earlier this month at the Apollo, they answered it. The band consists of David Krakauer, a highly acclaimed concert clarinetist who has toured as a soloist with the world’s best classical ensembles and crafted his own best-selling classical and klezmer recordings; Fred Wesley, a trombonist and funk pioneer known for his work with James Brown, Bootsy Collins and Parliament; and Socalled, a Canadian Jewish “beat architect,” rapper, singer, pianist, and accordionist, and probably more that I couldn’t keep track of. Since 2006, the three men have been on a mission to fuse their seemingly disparate influences—klezmer, funk, and hip hop—culminating in the blowout Apollo show.

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Nobody Does It Better

from the Playboy Blog, 5/1/08

In one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, the time-tested songwriter laments, “down the decades every year, summer leaves and my birthday’s here, and all my friends stand up and cheer and say ‘man, you’re old.” He wrote that almost a decade ago. And yet, as Simon wrapped up his month-long residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last weekend, he pulled out the same fresh, unadorned voice and playful humor that have been his trademark for all those decades. And in the process, the old man outplayed all the young disciples who came to honor him.

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