Kugel / Finger Play

Surely we should never have to see a poorly used Zapf chancery again!ë Kugel
Finger Play
Popover Productions, 2002

For CDs, contact www.cdbaby.com

Kugel (formerly, "Shawn's Kugel") is the descendent of the early Seattle klezmer revival band, the Mazeltones. As such, Shawn Weaver, master of the kugel (and kugel recipe, to which I can testify from personal experience) has lost none of the humor or diverse explorations that shaped the earlier band. Rather, as he has done on previous Kugel outings, he continues to present new Jewish music, klezmer, and music from all over that he enjoys playing. The result is a reflection of the care and pleasure that went into the CD.

The result is an album that nicely reflects the mosaic of music that is part of a Jewish life, today. Most of the songs are written by Weaver himself, including some traditional texts set to new melodies. Sometimes, that involves lovely new melodies: the klez-ish "Rebecca," or the more jazzy-pop "Steve's 41". Sometimes, that involves including music that many of us know and cherish, such as "Touch of Grey" by the late Jerry Garcia. "She Said So" reminds me a lot of the voice and music of Lyle Lovett. And, in between, we are treated to the voice of Cantor Wendy Marcus on numbers as diverse as "Sh'ma Kolaynu" and a very jazzy "Ein Kelohaynu" (this is as good as this melody gets, but I'm all in favor of moving on to a new melody that sounds less like "Jewish fight song") and the tender "Weigele".

What are we left with? It's a kugel spiced with all things delightful to the ear, from big band swing, to traditional American Jewish synagogue melodies, with some good klezmer noodles to hold things in place here and there. Delicious. And, as usual, a delight.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 8/2/03

Personnel this recording:
Shawn Weaver: clarinet, flute, tenor, soprano & baritone saxes, guitars, vocals
Wendy Marcus: vocals
Steve Rice: accordian, piano, organ
Andy Zadrozny: acoustic & electric basses
Will Dowd: drums, percussion
Bill Anthony: trombone
Al Keith: trumpet

Spencer Hoveskeland
acoustin bass (#3, #9)


  1. Rebecca (Shawn Weaver) 2:25
  2. Steve's 41 (Shawn Weaver) 6:33
  3. Sh'ma Kolaynu (words: trad., music: David Putterman, arr. Weaver) 3:57
  4. Esa Enai (words: trad., music: Shawn Weaver) 4:11
  5. Lecha Dodi (words: trad., music: Shawn Weaver) 2:54
  6. Song of Nedinah (Sidney Bechet, arr. Weaver, after Klezmorim arr.) 6:43
  7. Ein Keloheynu (trad., arr. Weaver) 2:12
  8. Touch of Grey (words: Robert Hunter, music: Jerry Garcia) 6:09
  9. Weigele (words: Ilse Weber; music: David Bloch, arr. Weaver) 2:04
  10. Emily (Shawn Weaver) 5:00
  11. Mi Chamocha (words: trad.; music: Shawn Weaver) 4:11
  12. Hey Sadie (Shawn Weaver) 5:19
  13. She Said So (Shawn Weaver) 3:31
  14. Ma Yafey Hayom (Isachar Miron, arr. Weaver) 5:41

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