Global Hit: Abraham Incorporated

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KARKAUER: "Abraham Incorporated."

WESLEY: "Yeah, Abraham Inc."

Fred Wesley and David Krakauer there who -- along with Montreal-based DJ So-Called -- are the core of the ensemble known as Abraham Inc.

They'll be on one of the world's most famous stages this weekend -- the Apollo Theater in New York. And it's going to sound a little something like this.

That's a tune called "Moskowitz" that Abraham Inc.has been working up. The ensemble doesn't have a CD out yet. But over the past year and a half, they've been rehearsing and playing whenever they can.

The idea germinated in 2001 when David Krakauer was touring with DJ So-called. Fred Wesley's name came up one night. Both Krakauer and So-called looked at each other.

And as Krakauer says, a bulb lit up. Fred Wesley agreed to meet them.

KRAKAUER: "He agreed to work with us and I think he was probably pretty skeptical at first too, he was wondering what this was going to be."

WESLEY: "I wasn't skeptical, I was just wondering how it could work. And once I understood how it could work, it was straight ahead after that, you know."
KRAKAUER: "It was just the three of us: So-Called and myself and Fred. And we started to play together, and there was an instant chemistry, it just combusted."

So just how funky can music from the shtetls of Eastern Europe get?

WESLEY: "It can get as funky as you want it."

That's Fred Wesley again.

WESLEY: "It lends itself to funk because it's very happy, you know. And funk is a very happy music too. And that's why it works so good together."

About that name Abraham Incorporated: David Krakauer's wife comes from Winston-Salem, North Carolina where the two were visiting some time ago. A family friend whose father is a black pastor invited them to his church one Sunday for service.

KRAKAUER: "At one point you know the pastor said "We have guests here," and obviously knew I was Jewish, I have a very Jewish face. We hadn't really officially met, but he said, you know, we can never forget that African-Americans and Jews stood side by side during the civil rights movement, and if it were not for the seed of Abraham we wouldn't have our savior."

For Christians, Jews, Muslims, blacks and whites, as David Krakauer says, Abraham is an icon. The members of Abraham Inc, -- however -- all worship at the church of music.

Fred Wesley again.

WESLEY: "All music can build bridges you know. If there was only music in the world and no politics, it would be a happy world. The beat is constant, and Jewish people and black people can bridge gaps with music. If that's all we had to be concerned with was music, then it would all work, you know."

We'll end today's program with an Abraham Inc. Tune called Tweet Tweet.

The band'll be playing it at tomorrow's show at the Apollo Theater in New York.

They're hoping for more dates later this year.