There have been periodic waves of Klezmer revival as if each new generation discovers the energy and improvisational fervor that makes it one of the world’s most enduring popular musics. What makes clarinetist Green’s work different is that while respecting the tradition, he’s not afraid to take a breath and let the blues in, “Tarras Doina and Blues”, or to play sweetly and classically with traces of the lyricism of say Darius Milhaud. He takes Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” to a magic understated place where he brings that special traditionally Jewish timbre to the piece while gently swinging in the breeze like a leaf about to take flight in the New England wind. Check out “Utt Da Zay” for the perfect Blues/Klezmer wedding.
(Close Encounters With Music concert 4/17/16) Juilliard-trained clarinetist Paul Green’s exuberant playing, in particular, was spot-on and as spirited — in a Klezmery way — as one could possibly require. Not all classically-trained clarinetists are capable of performing Klezmer-inflected music convincingly, but Green has unquestionably mastered the style.
PAUL GREEN/Music Coming Together: Yeah, yeah, yeah, others have melded jazz and klezmer in the past, but how many of them were hot shot classical musicians who’s grand father was a cantor—and never knew it? As much inward journey as experimentation, if anything, Green’s mash up has led him to his inner Kurt Weill and you can hear these melodies fitting easily into “Lost in the Stars” or “Three Penny Opera” without any problem, even as he does tongue in cheek riffs on Miles and Wayne Shorter. While Green may not be sure if this recording is michik or fleishik, it’s a pretty dazzling set of adult, instrumental music with a world beat edge. A nifty treat that takes you beyond the pale, this is sure bet when you want to get into some pure listening music that won’t let you down. Well done.