Jeremiah Lockwood is the long-time frontman for one of the most interesting young Jewish bands, The Sway Machinery. He is creating some of the most interesting new Jewish music today. The grandson of a cantor, he has been musing about khazones in several recent forums. This blog post from Jewish Currents is one facet of that engagement:
Legendary voices: The education of the great cantors, by Jeremiah Lockwood, posted Dec 2, 2014.
This is no casual interest. Lockwood has recently released an album of works inspired by the music of Cantor Zebulon Kwartin, Songs of Zebulon
, with help from several luminaries of the NY music scene: Frank London, Ron Caswell, Brian Drye, and Shoko Nagai. The album is on the "Blue Thread" label (an imprint of Jewish Currents
and is both a Lockwood original, and to a lesser, but still significant degree, Frank London's ongoing exploration of khazones
. The voice is the voice of a khazan
, but the music pulls in sounds from the blues, from North Africa, from spirituality around the world in an exciting, not always easy, mix. For people like me, this is the sort of music we keep waiting for—something that listens to tradition from other ears, and with an exciting patchwork of twentieth century identities. For one hint of how that all pulls together, listen to the slide on "B'rach Dodi" (I assume it is Lockwood's blues slide.) There are also flashes of familiarity, as with the album's closing "Od Ha-Pa'am" ("Once again"). You can find out more about Cantor Kwartin and his time, and listen to samples, from the project website
, or get your own copy directly from Blue Thread