Music

Symphonic Klezmer Jazz Metal?

If John Zorn is okay with it, you should be okay with it also. Read More

By / June 29, 2011
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How exactly does one dance to symphonic klezmer jazz metal?  Considering that Pitom’s second album Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes is intended to be an eleven-song-long homage to Yom Kippur, one might imagine a kind of swaying two-step wherein the dancer repeatedly strikes himself in the chest with his own fist.  Come to think of it, an album meant to encapsulate the psychological and emotional intensity of Yom Kippur.

Lead by jazz/indie dynamo Yoshie Fruchter, Pitom released their first, self titled record on John Zorn’s Tzadik label in 2008.  Fruchter, formerly of indie bands Juez and Bellefluer, is perhaps best known as a freelance musician, working with the gamut of Jewish acts, from Socalled to Matisyahu.

Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, which was followed by the “Blasphemy and Bagels Tour” encroaches on some interesting and mysterious musical territory, layering klezmer style violins on top of raunchy metal bass guitar which rests on a jazzy palate.  While metal and Jazz have been successfully mated by the likes of Zu and Candiria, the Klezmer element breaks up any potential monotony, infusing a kind of zany direction into the chaos of metal and jazz.  It makes sense though, doesn’t it?  Imagine your last Yom Kippur.  You’re sitting in shul, listening to the congregation sing Avinu Malkeinu feeling hesitantly in touch with your Jewish roots(Klezmer.)  Suddenly, the air reticent with bad breath, starts to feel thick and hard to breath and you begin to remember when you last defied your parents, stomping into your room and slamming the door shut while listening to “Angel of Death” on your discman (Metal.)  Then, you realize that you’re a grown up now, and the things which you have to repent for are far more nuanced than they used to be (jazz.)  Blasphemy And Other Crimes pays homage to the complexity and severity that accompanies repentance.