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Midnight Minyan by Paul Shapiro

While many of the neo-Klezmer scene bring jazz (and funk, etc.) into Klezmer (that old-world funky music that mixes Central European Jewish/Hebraic folk melodies n’ motifs with small band swing), some hepkatz bring some Klezo-dynamics into small band modern jazz. So it is with saxman to the stars Paul Shapiro, who’s debut disc Midnight Minyan is a sextet date where exotic, midnight in Casablanca modal melody is injected into a context of piquant, ultra-modern but thoroughly swinging bebop (with a jump-blues chaser on the side). Shapiro’s main squeeze would appear to be one of the great swing-to-bop tenors of all time, Ben Webster - similar rough-hewn, blues-rich, graciously gruff, impassioned tone and natural, old-school swing. Shapiro’s tunes have a handle on infectious swing a la Count Basie and Louis Jordan, with some amiable quirks a la Chas. Mingus, John Zorn and Phillip Glass to keep things interesting. This nifty disc has plenty of what much "edgy/downtown" NYC jazz sorely lacks in recent years: namely, earthy humor and congenial structure.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Paul Shapiro
  • CD Title: Midnight Minyan
  • Genre: Folk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Tzadik
  • Musicians: Paul S., Peter Apfelbaum: tenor & soprano saxes; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Brian Mitchell: piano; Booker King: bass; Tony Lewis: drums.
  • Rating: Four Stars
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