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Pressestimmen zu Sadawi | Tango Toy

Pressestimmen "Sadawi"

über "Beyond Babylon":

Berlin-based trumpeter Paul Brody's Sadawi,
a collective featuring clarinetist Jan Hermerschmidt, guitarist/banjoist Brandon Seabrook, bassist Martin Lillich, and drummer Eric Rosenthal, make strikingly original and cutting-edge music. Even though the concoction has its foot (or maybe less) in the tradition, its foundation is a catalyst for the creation of something distinctive that places electronic treatments, pulsing bass lines, and shrapnel-infused guitar fireworks in the mix.

Paul Brody´s Sadawi - "Beyond Babylon"

       On Beyond Babylon, the vivacious follow up to the group's previous effort, Kabbalah Dream, Brody brings compositions-as well as substantial recastings of works from other Radical Jewish Culturalists Glenn Dickson ("A Friend Of Kafka"), Frank London ("Golem Khosidl"), David Krakauer ("Klezmer a la Bechet"), and Ben Goldberg ("Masks and Faces") that keep the listener guessing as to the next fork in the road. The structural twists and turns, be it Klezmer, jaunty swing, four-on-the-floor rock, or just a good old-fashioned improvisational blowout, all play a part of this eclectic mix. In addition to the compositional variance, the individual instrumentalists are stimulating, especially Seabrook's unpredictable tonal colors.
       The most "traditional" piece, if you want to call it that, is the opening foray of "Two Be Simple", with Brody's rich personality shining through as he periodically hints at a traditional Shaker melody ("Simple Gifts", written by Joseph Brackett, for those keeping score) over the driving rhythmic currents. Seabrook's biting, prickly banjo attack is not to be missed here-it's a lightning bolt for the song and the other musicians. The corresponding "Basketball Barmitzva" blows the idea of the "traditional-influenced music with an edge" concept to shreds, primarily due to Seabrook's distorted, slippery slide work and Hermerschmidt's buzzing bass clarinet. Such rock-inspired jaunts also invigorate "A Fragment Of Kafka's Friend", where Seabrook's wiry guitar meets Hermerschmidt's slithering melodies before fading off into the distance. Accordion player Alan Bern is also added to the ensemble and works well within the context of the swing/improv of "Masks And Faces".
       Though Brody's trumpetwork is solid throughout, perhaps the best showcase for his technique is on the dusky ballad "Timepeace", which moves along like a caravan on the desert. The ensemble also funks it up with a sense of urgency on "Klezmer A La Bechet", though they bring the proceedings back to a hazy, dreary atmosphere with London's "Golem Khosidl" before a supercharged conclusion. The final two tracks, "Glass Dance", including spry work from Bern's melodica and "An Eye For You", suggest again that while they may be technically far from "the tradition", the roots are still there, with a mix of both reflective sobriety and celebratory marches.
by Jay Collins, 16 February 2005

Trumpeter Paul Brody has been deconstructing Jewish music for a couple of albums, now. This latest effort feels especially loose and interesting. It also includes four pieces based on works by others: Frank London, David Krakauer, Ben Goldberg, and Glenn Dickson.
       To some degree, the music is distant. These are not explorations based on a deep sense of the original sources. Rather, in interpreting the interpretations of others, Brody exemplifies an approach that is, in effect, engaging the meta information about culture, rather than the culture, itself. Intellectually, I am pleased at that insight. Musically, it means that this sounds like music a couple of generations from direct connection to Jewish cultural sources, so that whereas someone listening, say, to Aaron Alexander's Midrash Mish Mosh can sense the original sources and their transformation, here one is first attracted to the music and the interesting nooks and crannies of same. Practically, of course, this "insight" might cause the listener to miss the fact that there is very interesting music recorded here, regardless of the purity or directness of the source. I do very much like the way Brody mixes Jewish and meta-Jewish musical elements with jazz elements and weaves them into an abstractly reconstructed tapestry. Nor are all of the elements Jewish. The closing "An eye for a you" feels more connected to Spanish Flamenco. As always, it could be me who is missing the transformation. Once music goes too far from its source, my ear is insufficiently tuned, and I sufficiently ignorant, that there are direct transforms that I simply don't hear.
       Listen to the bass clarinet playing the simple theme that opens "Basketball Barmitzva" for instance, and then let your ears experience the explorations that follow. Consider "A fragment of Kafka's friend" whose source is less important than the interplay between voice sample, trumpet, accordion and clarinet. Alan Bern's accordion intro to the reconstructed "Masks and Faces" originally by Ben Goldberg catches the spirit of Goldberg's free jazz rendition nicely. The result is a relatively loose, but always engaging, engrossing interplay of sound. Brody's "Timepeace" has a slow, doina-influenced feel to it. The interplay on "Klezmer a la Bechet" is doubly fascinating, not just for its own very spacious and relatively relaxed "Sadawi" beat, but for the mental comparison with Krakauer's fiery rendition of a conversation between Bechet and Brandwein. In its own way, the ensemble reaches an intensity not much less than Krakauer's own, and similarly rocks out on London's "Golem Khosidl" in ways that make the piece feel entirely different from the original.
       One of the few times when I feel that I hear another artist directly is in "Glass Dance," where Alan Bern's guest accordion playing at the start is very much his own, only gradually building in intensity and sounding more and more assimilated into the group sound.
       As always, the final result is simply interesting and engaging. It is also, in the end, at least deeper than the quote from Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated (or the faux profundity of the graphic on the album cover), and seems actually to have something to say about music building on music which builds on music, each level of which requires taking the time to learn and to assimilate, and then, to move on. This album is a pleasure, and as before, I will be very interested to hear what comes next in its time, as well.
Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 9 Jan 2005, www.klezmershack.com

Following his '02 debut on Tzadik, Kabbalah Dreams , Berlin-based trumpeter Paul Brody reconvenes his group Sadawi for a sophomore effort that takes the tradition of Jewish music and quite literally twists it on its ear.
       Over half of Beyond Babylon evolves from Brody deconstructing pieces by four modern klezmer musicians/composers—Frank London (”Golem Khosidl”), David Krakauer (”Klezmer ? la Bechet”), Glenn Dickson (”Fragment of Kafka's Friend”), and Ben Goldberg (”Masks and Faces”). In some cases the reinvention of these pieces comes from the most minimal of sources, as in “Fragment of Kafka,” where Brody takes the last four notes of Dickson's melody from his “A Friend of Kafka” and establishes them as Martin Lillich's bass line, with scattered notes from Dickson's clarinet melody serving as a reference point for the more spacious beginning and end sections.
       As a player, Brody straddles the line between pure lyricism and freer expression, often within the space of the same piece. Again, on “A Fragment of Kafka's Friend” he alternates a melodic line with extended techniques that are reminiscent of some of Dave Douglas' more outward playing.
       Sadawi treats the material with a certain amount of honour, but with an equal degree of irreverence. “Two Be Simple” begins with a more traditional dervish-like hora, but while drummer Eric Rosenthal maintains a looser version of the rhythm, guitarist Brandon Seabrook takes a banjo solo that comes right out of Derek Bailey territory. Seabrook, in fact, is the find of the set, bringing a surprisingly diverse aesthetic to the proceedings that leans more to a rock sensibility. On “Basketball Barmitzva” his overdriven guitar is equal parts Marc Bolan and Marc Ribot, while his alternating of chunky Steve Cropper rhythms with heavier power chords on the theme of “Klezmer à la Bechet” lends an approachable edginess before Lillich and Rosenthal introduce an almost funky vamp over which he layers a more free-ranging solo.
       Like some of John Zorn's early material, only less frenetic, Brody's compositions and deconstructions run through a wealth of ideas in relatively short time frames. “Masks and Faces,” which features guest accordionist Alan Bern, begins with a simple repeated phrase before clarinetist Jan Hermerschmidt and Bern deliver the theme over a rhythmic backdrop that is playful and varied. Time builds and breaks down, with Lillich and Rosenthal running the gamut from simple groove to elastic free playing.
       It is, in fact, Brody's ability to embrace a musical tradition, while at the same time managing to avoid all its trappings, that makes Beyond Babylon such an intriguing listen. Time shifts, melodies weave in and out, dynamics ebb and flow, and pieces shift from heavily structured form to complete freedom, yet the program retains a sense of focus that makes it feel more like a multi-part suite than a collection of discrete songs. Beyond Babylon challenges the boundaries of traditional Jewish music by questioning its very essence and, in the final analysis, takes it to new places not previously envisioned.
Review by
John Kelman, www.allaboutjazz.com

On his second album fronting his band Sadawi, trumpeter and composer Paul Brody continues his work in the avant-klezmer trenches, helping to drag that hundred-year-old music kicking and screaming into the 21st century. On Beyond Babylon he shows his unwillingness to be constrained by any ghetto boundaries, opening the album with an extended deconstruction of the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" (which features a hair-raisingly skronky banjo solo by Brandon Seabrook), and making use of elements of both dub (on the contemplative and lovely "Timepeace"), and rock (note the guitar parts on "Fragment of Kafka's Friend") as well as lots and lots of modern jazz.
      Most of the album is thrilling; Brody's take on the David Krakauer composition "Klezmer à la Bechet" is a joyful romp in five/four meter, "Glass Dance" is a masterful chamber jazz excursion featuring guest Alan Bern on melodica; Brody's own "An Eye for a You" struts out like a brazen shtetl girl daring someone to dance with her. Only the scattershot and static "Masks and Faces" fails to impress. Highly recommended overall.
Review by Rick Anderson, www.allmusic.com

Paul Brodys aktuelles "Beyond Babylon" Album
mit seiner Band Sadawi ist eine wilde Synthese aus Klezmer und Jazz, und zugleich eine Reminiszenz an John Zorns Tzadik Label.
       Hört man Paul Brodys Musik ist es, als ob man einen Einblick in sein Leben erhält. Denn der Trompeter liebt es Klezmer, Punk, Free-Jazz und osteuropäische Musik in seine Werke einfließen zu lassen und mit Hilfe experimenteller Improvisations- und Kompositionstechniken miteinander zu verbinden. In einer jüdischen Musikerfamilie in San Francisco aufgewachsen weckte sein Vater, der von russischen Einwanderern abstammte, in ihm die Liebe zur Klarinette und seine Mutter, die vor den Nazis aus Österreich geflohen war, das Interesse an Klassik. Als Brody nach Boston ging, um klassische Trompete zu studieren, beschäftigte er sich zudem mit Komposition und Arrangement, vor allem mit Gunther Schulers Synthese aus Neuer Musik und Jazz, der so genannten "Third Stream Music".
       Eine weitere wichtige Inspirationsquelle ist der Autodidakt und "Radical Jewish Culture" Vertreter John Zorn, der mit seiner experimentellen Cut-Up-Kompositionstechnik den Hörern eine aufrührende Mischung aus Neuinterpretationen von Jazz-Klassikern, Punk, Klezmer und Free-Jazz um die Ohren knallt. Umso erstaunlicher ist es, dass es Brody gelingt, all diese Fußnoten seines Lebens in sein aktuelles Album einfließen zu lassen. Aufgrund der Kombination der vermeintlichen musikalischen Gegensätze, strahlt "Beyond Babylon" eine enigmatische Anziehungskraft aus. Virtuos spielen Brody und seine Begleitband Sadawi zu einem mitreißenden musikalischen Reigen auf, in dem sich neben fünf Eigenkompositionen vier Neu-Interpretationen und -Arrangements von weiteren Tzadik-Künstlern, wie Frank London, The New Klezmer Trio, Naftule`s Dream und David Krakauer finden. Spannender kann aktuelle Musik nicht sein!
Rezension von Matthias Schneider (arte-tv.com)

Es ist zu berichten von einem wundervollen Album,
dessen Musik nur denjenigen Sorgen bereiten, die es nicht vom ersten bis zum letzten Ton gehört haben. Paul Brody und Sadawi nehmen mit, was auf dem Weg nach Klezmer am Rande der Tour liegt: schrägen Jazz, Rock'N'Roll-Riffs, Kunstgesang, Blechgebläse. Brody ist kein waschechter Berliner, sondern kommt aus San Francisco. In der deutschen Hauptstadt ist jetzt jedoch sein Lebensmittelpunkt, was an der Musik aber überhaupt nicht ablesbar ist.
       Eigenes Material und Stücke von David Krakauer und Frank London tauchen tief in Strukturen des Klezmer ein, zitieren Tradi-tionen und lassen sich ausführlich auf New Klezmer ein. Sprühende Lebensfreude spricht aus den Klängen, die Sadawi neben der fast jedem Klezmer-Stück innewohnenden Melancholie ausbreitet. Es ist selten, dass ein so rundes, geschlossenes und mitreißendes Album das CD-Presswerk verlässt.
Rezension von westzeit.de 18.10.2004

über "Kabalah Dreams":

The title track and opening song "Kabalah Dreams"
opens with a harsh funk, that periodically devolves into a frantic klezmer-derived progression, then opens out into a Miles Davis-style space before returning to its klezmer roots. The piece nicely showcases trumpeter Paul Brody's latest ensemble as a delightful, hard-edged fusion of klezmer and jazz. Later, on the composer's reworking of the traditional "Sadawi" the band shows an entirely different side to intensity, but never losing its tightness or edge or drive.
       The inventiveness and scope of the opening number foreshadow the fun yet to come. This is a very exciting jazz album that incorporates a wide variety of Ashkenazic Jewish elements. As I wrote elsewhere, recently, this is a rare Tzadik album that actually seems to have something to propose in terms of fusing Jewish and Jazz and coming up with something new, something approaching the edges of what we know musically. It's also impossible not to enjoy an album with song titles as delightful as "Holy Man's Hum" or "Buber's Big Boat." The latter especially seems to embody the spaciousness and even I-Thou connectedness of such a name. Other lighter moments include "Sleeping on a Rock" which gives room for everyone in the band short solos before Brody's own lyric trumpet returns to tie things together.
       This is also the sort of album that breaks a bit away from the Tzadik sound. There is the usual clarity, but the music feels far more original than most. If it resemble's anyone's work it is that of the other band that doesn't fit Tzadik's categories well, Naftule's Dream. That may come as much as having Eric Rosenthal, that band's long-time drummer, along with Boston regular (and I believe, new Naftule's Dream member) Brandon Seabrook on banjo, guitar, and electronics. The relaxed energy and nice integration with the rest of Berlin-based Brody's ensemble is wonderful.
       I have to say, as I did on the first album, how much I enjoy what Brody is doing, and how inventive I feel his music is. From that opening funk klezmer, to the closer bells of "(Born) Smaller than a Banana," this album is worth listening to, and a pleasure to listen to. Brody has fused a variety of Jewish musics with jazz in a way that is both approachable (albeit, not excessively so) and yet retains edginess and progressive elements. It's a pleasure.
by Ari Davidow - klezmershack.com

Der aus San Francisco stammende Wahlberliner Paul Brody spielt Musik mit Zugangsvoraussetzung: Wer weder Klezmer noch Jazz mag, wird die Musik von Brodys Quintett Sadawi mit Sicherheit nur merkwürdig finden. Wer aber ein Herz für eine oder gar beide Musikrichtungen hat, kann eine der Platten des Jahres entdecken. Der studierte Trompeter und Komponist Paul Brody entwickelte für sich zunächst eine Synthese aus Jazz und Neuer Musik, um im nächsten Schritt die Mischung zudem mit Klezmer zu fusionieren. Heraus kommt eine wilde, improvisationsfreudige Melange, die New Klezmer mit jazzigem Einschlag oder Jazz mit jiddischem Touch genannt werden kann. Freiheit und Experimentierfreude des Jazz mischt sich der Lebensfreude und Melancholie des Klezmer zu einer äußerst ungewöhnlichen wie charmanten Mischung, in der Trompete und Klarinette den Ton angeben und dabei von Banjo, Gitarre, Bass und Schlagzeug umspielt werden. Für Hör-Individualisten mit Lust auf Abenteuer.
Simone Rafael (brigitte.de)

Pressestimmen "Tango Toy"

"Brodys Kompositionen pendeln zwischen Tradition und Moderne und sind voller Spannung und überraschender Wendungen. ... Brody ist mithin radikale Musik gelungen, die sämtliche Kategorien sprengt."
Jazzpodium 1/2003

"Paul Brody's Trompetenspiel ist voller Humor und Melancholie, er durchbricht die Grenzen zwischen Blues, osteuropäischer Folk-Musik und modernem Jazz"

"Mit Tango Toy betritt Paul Brody die Galerie der Klezmer-Größen der Welt – New Klezmer Trio, Hasidic New Wave, Masada, Neftule's Dream, Dave Douglas – derer die eine geniale und zeitgemäße Synthese schufen von osteuropäischer, jüdischer, afrikanisch-Amerikanischer und westeuropäischer Musik."
Frank London, Trompeter (Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave)

"Eine gelungene Synthese von jüdischer Musiktradition und jazzbezogener Kompositionstechnik."
Die Welt

"Uneingeschränkte Empfehlung!"

"CD der Woche"
WDR – Köln (15/2001)

"In Brody's Trompete erwachen sämtliche Klarinettengeister zu neuem Leben – zu einem Leben in New York. In seinem Instrument trifft sich die Welt. Nini Rossos "Clown" wirft sich unvermittelt den mexikanischen Poncho über. Und in ein bisschen Blues ist auch dabei. Die ausgefeilten Arrangements weisen den 39-Jährigen, ehemaliges Mitglied des Harlem Opera Ensembles, als Komponisten mit feinem Klangsinn aus."
Berliner Morgenpost

[...] trumpeter Paul Brody not only created his masterpiece but also joins the champion league of international the Avant Klezmer scene.
Wolf Kampmann

Full of both humor and melancholy, Paul Brody's lyrical trumpet playing breaks the borders of blues, East European folk music, and modern jazz.

Brody's band fuses klezmer and electronic jazz together...openning up whole new musical worlds.
Andreas Vick (RADIO multikulti/SFB)

"Innovative melting of East European, American and African music. …a must for klezmer and jazz fans."
Beeld & Geluid Opinie (music magazine – Holland)

"Paul Brody´s Tango Toy offers a personal, heartfelt, and deeply intensive approach to klezmer that will appeal to music fans of all stripes."
Hankus Netsky (founder and director – Klezmer Conservatory Band)

"Innovative trumpet playing … with soft lyrical human voice-like tone. Paul Brody melts klezmer and blues into one sigh."
Paris Music Journal




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