Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ty Citerman - Bop Kabbalah (Tzadik, 2014)

Ty Citerman is a guitarist and composer who came to the attention of Tzadik label head John Zorn who recorded this album for his Radical Jewish Culture series. This album also features Adam D. Goldon drums, Ben Holme on trumpet, and Ken Thompson on bass clarinet. As you can understand from the title, this album combines traditional Jewish music with jazz. The mix of bass clarinet and trumpet is an interesting one and allows Citerman and Goldon to move freely through the music. "Snout" shows sad clarinet and prickly guitar probing open space before Citerman unleashes some guitar effects in the company if the full band. Holme's trumpet launches them into an exciting conclusion. A moody solo guitar opens “After All That Has Happened” before Citerman then begins to spit and snarl. The full band moves through a choppy section accented by squalls of clarinet and trumpet. Guitar and trumpet weave in and out, melodically but forcefully. Torrid guitar sections makes for an excellent example of Citerman’s skills as a player. “Talmudic Backbeat” has some interesting playing as Holme improvises over handclaps before the rest of the band folds in. “Exchanging Pleasantries With a Wall” is the album’s longest track, running over ten minutes. It weaves dynamically between open guitar layers and building blocks of trumpet and clarinet as the sound fills in. Citerman uses guitar effects to lead the band into the stratosphere, but things never get out of control. This album worked well, all of the musicians were tight and committed and the compositions and improvisations were lithe and memorable. Bop Kabbalah -

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