A Bissel Rhythm Paul Green & Two Worlds

Cover A Bissel Rhythm

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  • 1A Bissel Rhythm06:20
  • 2Zoey's Chosidl05:58
  • 3My Own Freilach04:20
  • 4Doina and Ramble07:09
  • 5Prelude to the Blues07:44
  • 6Joe's Hurra04:24
  • 7The Jewish March04:34
  • 8Lisa's Song05:34
  • Total Runtime46:03

Info for A Bissel Rhythm

A BISSEL RHYTHM is composer and clarinetist Paul Green’s PARMA Recordings debut, although it marks his second recorded exploration into the fusion between jazz and Jewish music. A performance at Merkin Concert Hall resulted in the New York Times extolling his talents: "Like a cobra intent on doing some charming of its own, the clarinetist Paul Green weaved, darted and hovered over his instrument…conjuring gorgeous sounds."

Green opens the album with the title track, A Bissel Rhythm, a reworking of the George Gershwin standard, “I Got Rhythm.” Already interpreted by such astounding jazz players as Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, Green turns the song into a Jewish expression by using traditional Hebrew scales, placing it in a minor Jewish-sounding key, and giving it a joyful, freilach (merry) fast tempo. That same joyful feeling is expressed in My Own Freilach, which should be familiar to anyone who has ever attended a Jewish wedding or bar mitzvah. Here, it is performed at near breakneck speed, leaving it to the players to see who can maintain the pace, whether they’re playing the tune as written or improvising their own licks.

With Doina and Ramble, the composer reimagines the funeral traditions of New Orleans, by placing the Doina, a klezmer form, in the context of an imagined New Orleans funeral. In this tradition, the slow funeral song would be followed by a joyful performance, which Green depicts in his piece Ramble. The Jewish March hearkens back to the time when Jewish musicians in Russia were often prohibited from playing loud instruments. When those musicians arrived in America, they let loose with drums, wind, and brass instruments. The Jewish March is a recreation of an early 20th century piece, complete with drum rolls – courtesy of Peter Sweeney – and plenty of loud, exuberant playing. This energy and spirit permeates the album as a whole, making for an experience that is as impressive as it is enjoyable to hear.

"Like a cobra intent on doing some charming of its own, the clarinetist Paul Green weaved, darted and hovered over his instrument at his recital in Merkin Concert Hall…conjuring gorgeous sounds." (The New York Times)

PAUL GREEN, clarinet
CHARLES TOKARZ, tenor saxophone
BEN KOHN, piano

Paul Green
began his musical studies at an early age, and by age 12 he was already studying with the noted clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff. A year later, he was recommended to Leonard Bernstein and performed and recorded Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” in a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. Invited by composer Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1965 to perform at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto Italy, he performed with such artists as Jacqueline DuPre, Richard Goode, and Charles Wadsworth.

Also in 1965, Mr. Green won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, giving his solo debut in New York in 1966. He attended Yale University, where he studied with Keith Wilson and became Principal Clarinetist of the New Haven Symphony. After receiving a BA in Theory and Composition from Yale, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Joseph Allard, receiving an MS degree in Performance in 1972. He has appeared as soloist with the Hartford Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, the Charlotte Philharmonic, the Yale Symphony and the MIT Orchestra. He has performed in many festivals, including the Colorado Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Festival, the Manchester Music Festival, and the Festival at Sandpoint ID. In 1997, he was an Artistic Ambassador for the US Information Agency, performing in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and in 2003 he was appointed to the Chamber Music America 25th Anniversary Leadership Council. In 2007, he continued his musical studies at Florida International University, receiving an MM in Jazz Performance in 2009.

Presently, he has an active musical career in classical, jazz, and klezmer music. He is the First Clarinetist of the Berkshire Symphony in Williamstown and the Broad Street Symphony in Kinderhook NY and has performed with the Albany Symphony, Albany Pro Musica, Salisbury Sinfonietta, and Springfield Symphony Orchestras. As co-director of “A Summer Celebration of Jewish Music” he has presented a wide variety of Jewish music throughout Berkshire County MA. In addition, he is an active participant in the series “Music and More” which presents musical and multimedia performances in New Marlborough MA. He is the Director of the Jewish Jazz Project, which has performed at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield as part of the “Made in the Berkshires” series and is a regular soloist with the b’Shalom Chorale which presents concerts of Jewish choral and instrumental music throughout the Berkshires. He performs jazz and klezmer music frequently at the Gateways Inn and the Mount in Lenox, as well as Gedney Farms and the Castle Street Cafe. His recent album, Music Coming Together, a merger of Jazz and Jewish music, reached #16 on the CMJ Top 40 Jazz Chart and received multiple rave reviews from jazz publications throughout the United States. He is a faculty member of Skidmore College, Williams College, Schenectady County Community College, and the Berkshire Music School.

Booklet for A Bissel Rhythm

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