Various Knitting On The Roof

The folks at the Knitting Factory along with JAM (Jewish Alternative Movement) have put together a fun cover version concept just in time for the Hanukah season. The songs from the famous musical about European Jews, Fiddler on the Roof, are tackled by an unbelievably eclectic assortment of musicians. There are the expected Klezmer outfits like the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars and Hasidic New Wave, who provide somewhat traditional representations of the music at hand. But these tracks only serve to contrast with the more bizarre creations, like the Residents’ discordantly creepy version of “Matchmaker,” Eugene Chadbourne’s hilarious “Miracle of Miracles,” Negativland’s appropriately surreal cut-up of “Tevye’s Dream” and Come’s brilliant “Do You Love Me?” constructed as a Scanner-esque cell phone conversation. Others like Stephen Merritt’s recording of “If I were A Rich Man” and Jill Sobule’s rendition of “Sunrise, Sunset” work within the original song structure to create lovely new takes on old family favourites. So before picking this up for airing at you musically adventurous Hanukah party, expect some significant conflict over which tracks are the keepers on here. (Knitting Factory)