By Leva levitra
Thursday May 23, 2013 | May 2013 Issue
If you have conquered numerous worlds as a master of your chosen art, why not push the corners of the envelope further for the New Year? SETH KIBEL, latterly of the respected Klezmatics, has put forth a new album which demonstrates just how much Blues and Jazz power he has had stored up inside, and now he's ready to bestow upon our ears the full Monty of sophisticated musical blessings. Seth's work with the Alexandria Kleztet is nothing short of phenomenal.
What is undisputable is the shocking level of pure talent and skill Seth Kibel brings to the table, year in and year out. Gigs & Digs covered Seth's Klezmer quartet, the Alexandria Kleztet back in February of '06. At the time, I felt that of all the groups we'd covered in the column this was far and above the most original musically, and the most impressive technically. Their unusual blend of traditional Jewish folk infused with contemporary jazz, funk and world styles is compelling and inspiring. There was no box into which their music would comfortably fit, yet thanks to the brilliance of their arrangements and their outstanding original compositions, conformity was, and is completely unnecessary.
Much has happened with Seth & company since our last writing. The Alexandria Kleztet has had a personnel change (violinist Claire Cardon has become involved in other projects in the midwest), but we welcome Helen Hausmann (violin/mandolin) whose personal resume is too extensive to chronicle here. Along with being part of several bands in the past few years who were nominated for Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards), Helen has been personally nominated in the category of 'Best Roots Rock Instrumentalist' in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and is a much sought after session musician and freelancer throughout the D.C./Baltimore metro area..
Bassist Scott Harlan, who along with Seth recorded and produced their previous CDs now has opened his own studio in Kensington, Md. 'Golden Sound Studio', where his considerable talents will continue to yield ever greater accomplishments.
The Kleztet's most recent CD 'Close Enough For Klezmer' is available from their website www.kleztet.com, and again features many original compositions by both Seth Kibel and Scott Harlan, and again showcases their unique chemistry.
Seth has expanded his personal musical contributions from being primarily a Clarinetist Extrordinaire, now to Flute, Tenor and Bari Saxophones, and even a bit of Accordion and Mandolin! In addition, he has added to his already impressive collection of Wammies –
Best World Music Duo or Group – winner 2003, 2004, 2006
Best World Music Instrumentalist – winner 2004, 2004, 2005, 2006
Best Jazz Instrumentalist – winner 2005
Best World Music Recording – winner 2000, 2003, 2005
(For some amazing pointers from Seth visit MonkeySee.com where he's a featured instructor!)
As if that wasn't enough, Seth has just come out with his first ever solo CD 'The Great Pretender' where he does a full musical 180, tackling a repertoire of blues oriented material, and again impressing us further with his original arrangements of songs by a wide array of artists such as Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, the Kinks and Tom Waits. Contributing their talents to this CD are some of the area's most accomplished players – guitarist Dave Chappell, pianists Daryl Davis & Sean Lane, bassist Sam Goodall, Melanie Mason, drummers Mark Lucas and Joe Wells, dobro-ist Dave Giegerich and European blues star "Hideaway" Bridges.
The Alexandria Kleztet routinely performs at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and to usher in the new year will be performing both December 28 and 29 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For future engagements, or for booking info, or to purchase CDs, visit www.kleztet.com.
Special mention: Neither snow nor ice nor driving sleet could keep away the faithful – well most of them anyway, from a 5 to 11 PM benefit Jam on Sunday, December 2nd at Bangkok Blues, all in behalf of stalwart bass innovator Andy Margileth, who is now battling Stage Four cancer.. As friendly proprietor Darryl Taylor put it, "The weather couldn't stop the great music for a worthy cause. Components of the Nighthawks were there [particularly the fronting harp man Mark Wenner]. Linwood Taylor stepped up to the plate, and Johnny Castle and his thundering ThrillBillies, not to mention mighty guitarist Mike Melchioni, who put his whole tribute together!"
Maybe Mike organized the show due to the bunch of years he and Andy served together in the "Smut Brothers," perhaps DC's most innovative "blooze" team, which featured singers, a melodica player, Mike's positively slashing Fender work (Mike engaged in numerous projects with Mr. Gatton), and naturally Andy Margileth and his ground-breaking for the time, five and six-string bass foundation. We, that is Mr. Sky, recalls Andy soloing on his instrument with his huge melts granite grin as he humbled all his stagemates at Bethesda's shrine of roots rock, the Psyche Delly. Andy went on to run the hoppin' aggregation known as Big As A House, which was a playful nod to Andy's immense size, which amplified his gregarious nature. We have been advised that any of our readers who'd like to contribute to defray Andy's mounting medical costs may e-mail info@bangkokblues .com and gain an opportunity to give.
Incidentally, we're told Andy made an appearance onstage early on and bravely joined with his fellow blues men though his strength is greatly taxed of late. Play on Andy, we love ya!
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