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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Deconstructing 'Abdul the Rabbi'

4th Ward AKO L to R Roger Ruzow, Jeff Crompton, Bill Nitler
  • Chad Radford
  • 4th Ward AKO L to R Roger Ruzow, Jeff Crompton, Bill Nitler

“Abdul the Rabbi” is the title track from the 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra’s latest album which arrived on CD Aug. 8th — the release date for the LP is pending but plans for an album release party in October are coming together. More on that later.

The 4th Ward AKO, its founding member Roger Ruzow, and the character from which the album takes its name are the subject of this week’s CL cover story, “Hero Complex: How the 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra found its place in Atlanta."

This is the AKO’s second album, and by comparison to East Atlanta Passover Stomp, most of which was recorded live and in relatively few takes, it’s far more sophisticated. Although the lineup has changed around between records, from conception to execution there’s a lot more attention paid to every sonic detail throughout.


Ruzow explains more:

We recorded East Atlanta Passover Stomp with no overdubs — a totally live album. The thinking was that I've written and arranged all these great original sounding tunes and assembled this fantastic nine-piece band, but I have no idea how long they’ll stay together, and be able to play the music like it should be played. So we recorded at [Chris] Griffin's using some isolation, but mostly same room large band recording. I wanted to get the music out and get it done as fantastically as possible, which wasn’t tough considering the caliber of the guys in the band.

We knew that Abdul the Rabbi was going to take a while, between member changes and tune nuances that had to be doubled and tripled, and some of the production techniques that had to happen. Not to mention the mixing and mastering. There were things that needed to be re-recorded, the album has more production and attention to the mix with regard to each track, which could be affected considering it was recorded individually or with no more than two other players in the room.”

Read the cover story ...

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