Kol B'Seder / Snapshots: The Best of Kol B'Seder Vol. 1

nice collage with '80s type

Kol B'Seder
Snapshots: The Best of Kol B'Seder Vol. 1

Empty Chair Records, KB 800, 2004

Web: www.kolbseder.com
E-mail Kol B'Seder

I admit to being highly resistant to Jewish liturgical music set to pop tunes. I really enjoy nusakh (traditional cantorial melodies), and I really enjoy songs that have more than one line. But, as this collection makes clear, Jeff Klepper and Dan Freelander, performing as "Kol B'Seder" have produced a lot of really good music over the years. They have done it against significant (and, based on what I saw at the Milken conference, ongoing) hostility from those who feel that setting liturgy to "campfire tunes" lessens the role of the cantor and makes services less interesting or meaningful. Klepper, I think, would argue the opposite. This CD provides ample positive evidence at least as to the quality and memorability of the results.

What we get on this lovely retrospective are not only a wide variety of liturgical and other Jewish tunes, but interspersed with the music are snippets of the works in progress, unreleased recordings, and the interviews, making it clear how hard the musicians had to fight to get their music heard. What doesn't come through, but I think is also significant, is that these songs are part of the returning of Hebrew to the Reform liturgy and life. I can't speak to the services at which these songs would be performed. But I do enjoy listening to them here, and am glad to have a "summing CD" to get a sense of the breadth of the duo's music, and for the pleasure of listening. I also enjoy hearing the rough cuts or live version of songs leading into the more polished album versions. The two musicians harmonize beautifully, and the arrangements are always excellent, avoiding treacle and remaining true to the duo's folk rock roots.


  1. Modeh Ani (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 2:23
  2. Radio Interview 1 0:56
  3. Lo Alecha (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 3:40
  4. Ushmor (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 4:13
  5. Tov L'hodot (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 2:55
  6. Radio Interview 2 0:16
  7. Or Zarua (Jeff Klepper) 3:34
  8. Ashrei (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 1:39
  9. Sin'u Ra (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 3:24
  10. V'yashvu Ish, work tape 1973 (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 0:45
  11. V'yashvu Ish (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 2:56
  12. Haporeis Sukat Shalom (Jeff Klepper) 3:17
  13. Oseh Shalom (Jeff Klepper) 3:19
  14. Ma Tovu (Jeff Klepper) 4:04
  15. Radio Interview 3 0:20
  16. Yism'chu (Jeff Klepper) 2:53
  17. La'asok B'divrei Torah (Jeff Klepper) 2:48
  18. In Every Generation (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 2:58
  19. Radio Interview 4 0:26
  20. Eilu D'varim (Jeff Klepper) 3:21
  21. Hold Fast To Dreams (Jeff Klepper) 3:49
  22. Yeish Kochavim (Jeff Klepper) 4:00
  23. Radio Interview 5 0:29
  24. Shalom Rav, radio interview 1978 1:13
  25. Shalom Rav (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 3:41
  26. Adonai Oz (Jeff Klepper, Dan Freelander) 2:28

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