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Label: Tzadik



When the beat of the opening track "Dirge Sirba" opens up into a funky groove, you know this isn't your grandfather's klezmer. With wild improvisations that have been compared to Phish, Boston-based Naftule's Dream has taken modern Jewish music to a new level.

The group's third CD, this live recording uses the Biblical story of Job to launch an exploration of the tension between improvisation and structure. Mixed by ubiquitous whiz Bill Laswell, the tracks range from the minimalist experimentation of "Back in the Sewer" to a wild, often dissonant rendition of Fiddler on the Roof's "To Life," while the tempo changes and playful instrumentation of "Industrial Bulgar" bring to mind Raymond Scott's cartoon soundtracks.

The playing is first-rate, and the musicians-who have classical, rock, and even bluegrass credentials-make other modern Jewish bands look downright traditional.

©Scott Allan Stevens--4/1//02

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