Paul Green & Two Worlds | A Bissel Rhythm
(Big Round Records)
Klezmer comes in all shapes, sounds, and sizes these days. What unites them all is mostly and often subtly technical: the use of specific modes, pitches, and ornamentation (roughly analogous to "blue notes" in jazz and blues). In the early 20th century, some Eastern European immigrant musicians absorbed the sounds and strategies of jazz. Western Massachusetts composer, clarinetist, and bandleader Paul Green may be an unlikely heir to that genre—he spent most of his musical life playing classical music—but he captures the mood of klezmer and the rhythms of jazz on original tunes meant for dancing or reflecting on his second album, A Bissel Rhythm, which was recorded at NRS Recording Studio in Catskill and engineered by Hudson Valley superstar Scott Petito. Aided by his stellar sextet of mostly Berkshire-based musicians, Green's fusion is both logical and evocative, a marriage of two great musical traditions.