All about the gonifs CD: Nokh a glezl

This is one of the first klezmer tunes the gonifs ever played; that means some of us have played it together for fifteen years now. I guess we got kind of
loose in all that time. We had to edit it down for the record, but here’s Nokh a glezl uncut, unmixed.

You can hear a bit of the more traditional version, introducing this great rap by Chaim Grade about how straight folks used to put Yiddish culture & klezmer music down.

We learned the tune from the Henry Sapoznik book, “The Compleat Klezmer.” (Some other good klezmer music collections: the Mel Bay Klezmer Book, compiled by Tracey Phillips, with notes by Andy Statman;  Moshe Beregovski’s “Jewish Instrumental Folk Music,” edited by Mark Slobin; “Celebrated Hebrew Wedding Dances” by Nat & Wolf Kostakowsky (published 1916, out of print, but there’s a copy at YIVO. Also Josh Horowitz reprinted most of the Kostokowsky tunes in “The Ultimate Klezmer.”).)

This Yiddish dance is called a hora or a zhok. It’s usually written in 6/8 or 3/4 time, but really the traditional way to play a zhok, or to dance it, is almost uncountable, despite many attempts. Unless maybe you count it “and ONE…and ONE…and ONE…”

The original name of the tune is “Nokh a glezl vayn”—that is, “Another little glass of wine.” But some of us don’t drink wine anymore…so now it’s just “Another little glass.” Of tea, maybe…