Folk Songs for Far out FolkFolks Songs for Far Out Folk – Fred Katz
Let me begin by stating the following – I don’t like Jazz. I don’t like Communists. I don’t like secular Jews, and I sure as hell don’t like the fucking cello. That having been said, I can’t stop listening to this CD. Reboot Stereophonic’s 4th album release is a reissue of Folk Songs for Far Out Folk, conducted by this crazy man called Fred Katz, first recorded way back in 1959. In theory, this is an album that offers Jazz renditions of classic American, Jewish and African folk songs. In reality this represents a mindfuck of unparalleled proportions. What else can you expect from the mind of a guy who is described as a Kabbalist, a recovering atheist, part time Buddhist and currently a Deist? He’s an agoraphobic professor emeritus at Cal State Fullerton and like all old crazy guys, he’s clearly lived large – he studied cello with Pablo Cassals, scored Roger Corman movies, worked as an A&R man for Decca Records, worked as the first cellist in Jazz with the Chico Hamilton Quintet, worked on stupid albums with Sidney Poitier (Sidney Poitier??) and Harpo Marx (Harpo Marx????), and hung out with a young Tony Bennet.

Seriously, this is going to be the shittiest review ever because I simply do not have the words to describe the compelling insanity of this record. The liner notes, which include the original 1959 liner notes and accompanying poetry as well as new notes put together by Josh Kun put the CD into some sort of context – which means really, no context. Fred Katz produced music that rocks harder than ACDC, is trippier than the Chemical Brothers and more fucked up than the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Frank Zappa put together. If you don’t immediately love this, you have no soul. I have no idea where those reboot stereophonic guys find this stuff.

Thanks to David Katznelson from reboot stereophonic, who I recently met at a Wexner event in Jerusalem (birthright israel for old people) for zapping this album over to me so quickly. You can buy it from the reboot stereophonic Web site. Do it before it sells out loser. It’s only $12.95!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

1 Comment

  • Hi Ck,
    Mazel Tov on the 3 years and keep up the good work.

    I like Jazz. I don’t like Communists. I don’t like Orthodox Jews. I sure as hell appreciate the practice and dedication it would take to learn the cello.

    Decca Records ! WoW! You know what great talent recorded on that label for many years …that’s right, Sir Tom Jones!

    And now for your listening pleasure this Shabbat I bring you Sir Tom with the Sterophonics (the group, not the music publishers) doing the very Jewlicious Ira Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Enjoy!