There is a Russian Song, "Proshai Proshai Odessa Mama", which just happens to have the same melody as the Jazz standard "Some of These Days". A coincidence? The story begins in New Orleans. And Odessa. Trading ships went back and forth; Russian sailors filled the New Orleans cabarets. They had their favorite spots, and the house bands could always pick up some extra tips by 'Jazzing' up popular Russian tunes in the local style. The Russian in turn brought the new style home. Russian Ragtime and Hot bands were around as early as the 1910's. After the revolution, Jazz in the Soviet Union was at times supported, at others forced underground, but it was always there.
At the same time, around the turn of the century, the Jews of the Baltics were playing their own 'jazz'. And like the Jazz of the time, the music they played wailed. It jumped, it screamed, it laughed and it cried, and it made people want to dance. It was Freilach.
This album is dedicated to Aharon Gammer, Boris' father and composer of two of the pieces. In a way, Aharon Gammer is the father of the whole conception of the Jerusalem Jazz Band and the 'Dixie-Freilach' sound, having urged Boris over the years, asking him again and again, "so when are you going to start playing our music?" The songs here are among those that as a child Boris heard his father play - the Jazz and the Swing and the Freilach.
From the liner notes by Aaron Chankin
The Jerusalem Jazz Band was founded in 1986 by Boris Gammer. The exciting and unique sound of the band, combined with the outstanding musicianship of exuberance of its members, has brought audiences to their feet in clubs and concert halls. The JJB has participated in Jazz and cultural festivals throughout Europe, the United States and at home in Israel, receiving rave reviews in the press and in audience polls.
The Jerusalem Jazz Band is:
Boris Gammer, Leader, Arranger, Clarinet
Stanislav Kunin, Soprano Saxophone
Aaron Chankin, Tenor Saxophone
Yosi Regev, Trombone
Aharoni Benari, Banjo & Guitar
Eduard Rozonov, Bass
Michael Markovitch, Drums
Tracks 1-8: Jean-Claude Jones, Banjo & Guitar
Tracks 9-13: same as above except:
Shmulik Kovalsky, Soprano Saxophone
Meer Zibul, Trombone
Thierry Wieder, Banjo & Guitar
Track 14: Stanislav Kunin, clarinet