The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Although he’s sometimes stereotyped as a klezmer specialist, clarinetist David Krakauer has done a wide variety of projects—ranging from classical to jazz to hip-hop—since he left The Klezmatics after that band’s first three albums. Here he leads a frisky crew of downtown jazz and hard-to-classify folks through a set of songs from popular movies. The stated object is to celebrate the intertwined relationship of jazz and film music and hopefully spur some fond memories or even bring back ones buried in our subconscious. Some songs here are pretty recognizable: the wheeling version of “Willkomen” (from Cabaret), a zany take on “Tradition” (Fiddler on the Roof), the classical-leaning “The Family” (Avalon). Yet there’s a soft, moody, and nearly unrecognizable version of “People” (Funny Girl), the French café meets circus act of “Keep It Gay” (The Producers), and an incredibly powerful and slow-burning “La Vita E Bella” (Life Is Beautiful), which may be the best song here. This project succeeds as an artistic statement and functions as a wonderful stroll down memory lane for just about any movie buff.

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