Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Post-Klezmer Rock from Zakarya

Originally posted on December 31, 2008

A somewhat unusual addition of the accordion to the electric guitar, bass and drums configuration is the first thing that hits you about the group Zakarya, who celebrate their fourth release, The True Story Concerning Martin Behaim (Tzadik), with a powerfully electric set that fully fleshes out their take on the Semitic tinge and a progressive rock/fusion sensibility.

This is carefully arranged, deftly executed music with a hint of a Kurt Weil sarcasm and nice contributions from all four members. They get a little OUT from time to time but otherwise plummet the depths of a four-square post-klezmer jazz-rock. Enough of the labels one could attach, though. This transcends categories and gives you a highly substantial musical experience. The geography of their French existence means less than what Tzadik is documenting, a stylistic almalgam that forges a new identity, redefining what musical ethnicity/practice can be in the 21st century. The lesson: we can all forge ourselves anew from the pieces of the Ur culture available to us. Something to think about when you pick up a pick, a stick, a schtick, or a CD.

The New Year approaches. It is with hope that I wait for the ball to drop tonight. Ring it in. . .

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