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November 26, 2003

Updates at Rainlore's World of Jewish Music

Richard "Renaissance Man" Sharma writes:

Recent new reviews, one an illustrated review of Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers (with a new all-star line up that's a real killer!) at Momo, a popular club in London's West End, the other the recent Giora Feidman Quartet date at the Union Chapel in Islington, North London, are here:

Reviews - Daphna Sadeh And The Voyagers at Momo, London, 14th October 2003

Reviews - TangoKlezmer: Giora Feidman Quartet at Union Chapel, London, 23rd October 2003

Both reviews are lavishly illustrated with photographs of each event, no expense or effort spared! ;-)

November 23, 2003

New KlezmerShack reviews

There never seems to be time to review everything I'd like to write about. When music this good arises, I find myself listening over and over and forgetting to move on. That's okay. That's why I listen and write in the first place. So, from Australia to Ireland via California and Salonika via NYC, here are the latest. If you are getting an early start on your Chanuka shopping this coming weekend, pay good attention - these are the new musics that folks will be wanting:

a ripe fig. deliciousThe Fig Tree, 2003
This is a delightful collection of Greek, Jewish, and other music, accompanying a book on immigrants to Australia by Arnold Zable. Don't let the distance from Australia stop you from listening to this, hearing the latest from our favorite Australian klezmer bands, and hearing some wonderful other music, as well.

the green of ireland seen through a deep stone windowCeiliZemer / Shalom Ireland, 2003
Continuing the international tour, this soundtrack to a documentary about Jews in Ireland fuses the two musics delightfully. Yes, indeed, think of what hasidic music (and klezmer) might have been like if the uillean pipes had been available in Eastern Europe. There's still time to add them here.

Helvetica. Sheesh. and bits of time and musicDavid Chevan / Days of Awe, 2003
Chevan has gathered his Afro-Semitic Experience, including guitar wizzard Stacy Phillips, and added Frank London. The result is exquisite jazz versions of music from the High Holy Days. If you like this sort of thing (I do), this is definitely the sort of thing that you will like.

The high lonesome wooden synagogueMargot Leverett & the Klezmer Mountain Boys, 2003
Today's theme seems to be fusion music. You got yer Greeks and Klezmers; you got yer Irish and Klezmers. And when you're especially lucky, you got your bluegrass klezmers. But, it's a Margot Leverett album, so you already knew that it would be on your "essential klezmer" list, anyway. I think of Leverett the way I think of Jeff Warschauer and Deborah Strauss - if she's involved, it's not only amazing, but it's comfort music - the perfect accompaniment for when you feel great, and an even better accompaniment for when you need a lift.

  • interesting letter on desert backgroundSarah Aroeste / A la una, 2003
    Mobius, of my favorite Jewish weblog, Jew*School suggested that I write something about these new Sephardic artists. Some I knew. Aroeste's name was unfamiliar. It shouldn't be. This is extraordinary Ladino music, set with contemporary instrumentation and sounds by someone who has worked with good avant garde musicians and knows what good music should sound like. But the critical part is how seamlessly she has kept the feel of traditional Ladino song. This is one of our favorite albums this year. Who knew?

    interested hip hop khasene sceneSolomon & Socalled / HipHopKhasene, 2003
    As much fun as I had writing about everything else, this is my favorite of the bunch. Witty, brilliant, funny, and great music. The album features not only the amazing Socalled, but Oi Va Voi's Sophie Solomon. Guests include David Krakauer, Zev Feldman, Frank London, Michael Alpert, Elaine Hoffman-Watts and daughter Susan... even Jewish-music mailing list regular, Cantor Sam Weiss. Essential for all but the humor-impaired.

  • November 16, 2003

    Gerard Edery Sephardic Song Book released

    songbook coverThis highly anticipated song book by Sephardic singer/composer/guitarist, Gerard Edery, contains 40 musical gems from the Sephardic oral tradition. Includes ballads, songs of courtship, love and marriage, as well as liturgical pieces honoring Elijah the Prophet, Abraham and Moses, among others. The song book also includes a 17 track accompanying CD, Ladino pronunciation guide, lyrics and translations, and a forward by renowned author/storyteller, Peninnah Schram. The songs are arranged in an easily readable format that highlights melody and guitar chords with suggested accompaniments.

    This collection includes both familiar and lesser known pieces such as Montañas Altas, Shalom Alechem Señores, La Roza Linda, Cuando El Rey Nimrod, La Comida La Mañana, Eli Eliyahu, Tus Cavellos Seda Son, Dúrmite Mi Alma and many more!

    To learn more about the song book and to order, please visit www.gerardedery.com/BOOK/HTML/book.html or contact Thia Knowlton directly at:

    Sefarad Publishing
    392 Central Park West
    Suite 17Y
    New York, NY 10025
    Phone/Fax: (212) 662-9712

    Margot Leverett and Klezmer Mountain Boys featured in The Forward

    album coverSandra Layman spotted this by veteran Jewish news reporter Jon Kalish:

    Mixing Mountain Musics: How One Band Combines Klezmer and Bluegrass. By JON KALISH, The Forward, Nov 14, 2003

    The verdict? Outstanding music, live or on disk. But you already knew that....

    November 15, 2003

    Chopin for the Oud

    Judith Cohen found this delightful article in Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper:

    Chopin for the Oud, by Noam Ben Ze'ev, Friday, Nov 14, 2003

    Two cellists and three oud players join a kanunist and two flautists, violinists (both of the Arabic and the Western variety) and players of percussion and wood instruments and piano. They hail from Sakhnin and Ramat Gan, Shfaram and Modi'in, Herzliya, Nazareth and Kafr Kana. This multicultural orchestra, and its unique assortment of human and musical talents, is the Jewish-Arab Musical Youth Orchestra - a longish name for a young ensemble, whose teenage members gather together to make music with one another.....

    November 6, 2003

    KlezmerShack on the Road: Milken Conference, NYC, Nov 7-11

    The KlezmerShack goes on the road this week. I'll be at the Milken Conference on American Jewish Music in New York City. My wife, Judith Pinnolis, will be giving a couple of talks (including one on Jewish music resources on the Internet). Do come by and say "hello" if you are around. I will probably try to set up a temporary weblog for the conference, unless it turns out that I'm doing too much conference and have too little internet connectivity. This, too, is possible.

    This is an exciting event. If you are in New York City, this is well-worth attending - the diversity of music and events and concert and lectures is wonderful. If you can't make it, I'll try to at least write about the conference. If you are there, do feel free to comment here (unless I actually set up that Milken Conference Weblog at this last moment).

    Visit the conference website at: www.milkenarchive.org/events/events.taf

    What does it mean to be a cantor?

    Cantor Sam Weiss shared this with the Jewish-music mailing list:

    There is an article that I've been meaning to share with this list for a while, and I'm finally getting around to doing so. It does not necessarily represent my practice, but I think it serves as a necessary antidote to the "Three Tenors" conception of what being a cantor is all about. Following the link is the title and a tiny excerpt:

    Speaking Before The Heavenly Court, by Cantor Sherwood Goffin, Jewish Week of Greater New York, 3 Oct 2003

    ... It is then, nearly two months before Tishrei, that it all begins for me the realization that as the cantor of a community, I am the one who will soon be called upon during the High Holy Days to plead on behalf of my congregation, my family, my friends, for a verdict of compassion for the coming year...

    November 3, 2003

    New reviews by George Robinson

    George Robinson announces a slew of new music columns published almost all together in New York's Jewish Week:

    Five-Star Klez: From New Orleans and Odessa, fusion and traditional approaches.

    A Fall Sampler: From Solomon Rossi to Michael Strassfeld.

    Heard Around The World: From Turkey to London to the Lower East Side.