Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Solstice, Etc.: Hanukkah Medley

All Gods' Children: Hanukkah Medley


What would it sound like if Sun Ra's Arkestra was beat up by a klezmer band? Well, it would sound something like "Hanukkah Medley", the first song on the first side of the first All God's Children cassette (released before the apostrophe had migrated to the right of the "s".)

It starts out with a maniacal laugh, followed by a minute and a half of what sounds like the band warming up. Just when you're ready to give up on it, the noise dies down, bandleader Adam Bernstein counts it out, and we're off on a four-minute, high-speed chase through Klezmerville.

This is music full of energy, full of life. Dancing to it at their many shows in the '90s was a missed marketing opportunity for the next big aerobics craze.

A band that couldn't be pigeonholed, all four songs on that debut cassette sounded completely different from each other. There was a tango, a big-band version of a Woody Guthrie favorite, and the hard-to-classify Gulf War statement "Guns and Humus". The band would follow a similarly eclectic pattern for all their releases.

When I first posted an AGC song here, none of their catalog was commercially available. But as of last week, the complete AGC studio catalog, as well as many previously unreleased live recording are now available. The MP3 of "Hanukkah Medley" I've included here comes from my digitization of my own well-worn cassette. If you want the real deal, hit up the "purchase" link above.

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