A classic in its own right,Shirim's "Klezmer Nutcracker" is a klezmerized version of Tchaikovsky's perennial favorite which delights the whole family. It will make klezmer aficionados plotz and leaves Tchaikovsky fans rolling on the floor with laughter. Combining the zany wit of Spike Jones with the class and craft of Duke Ellington, Shirim recasts the Nutcracker as a Hannukah classic with images of a dancing Potato Latkes Queen and marching Macabees. Emphasizing the Eastern European elements of the score with witty intelligence and playful irreverence, Shirim redefines the modern melting pot of "world music."
The CD is filled out with classic klezmer music and klezmer versions of Mahler, Brahms, Satie and Enesco.
Klezmer Nutcracker features some of the finest instrumentalists of the klezmer revival: Clarinetist-bandleader Glenn Dickson is joined by trombonist David Harris, pianist Michael McLaughlin, banjo player Pete Fitzpatrick, drummer Eric Rosenthal, and Jim Gray and John Manning trading off on tuba.