Zahava Seewald & Psamim / Koved: A tribute to Martin Weinberg

an accordion and music onstage, a touching tribute to Martin Weinberg

Zahava Seewald & Psamim
Koved: A tribute to Martin Weinberg

Tzadik Radical Jewish Music, TZ7177, 2003


I'm not quite sure how to categorize Zahava Seewald. She has a lovely, trained voice, and has been singing Jewish music, primarily Sephardic and Ashkenazic folk music, for many years. I first heard her in a duo called "Mosaic" in the early '90s showing an awareness that Jewish folk extended farther than Eastern Europe that was far ahead of its time—at least, to an American audience. In Belgium, just south of the Netherlands, where refugees from Spain and Portugal found homes for centuries after 1492, that might be less of a stretch.

Seewald's arrangements take folk songs and bring them into art song or cabaret. The result is less "Radical Jewish Music" (despite being on Zorn's label of same name) but rather music that has more in common with the work of Adrienne Cooper or Mariejan von Oort. She is in good company. And as evidenced here, deserves to be better known. The accompanying band, Psamim, does an excellent job of shifting moods and accompanying her voice, whether it be the Judeo-Spanish stylings of "De edad de quinze años" or "Skrip klezmerl, skrip" from Eastern Europe; a wonderfully diva-ish "Had Gadya" (an especially delicious vocal pun when one considers that "Had Gadya" was apparently written only a few centuries ago in Eastern Europe, in Aramaic to give it "age" authenticity, and is here given a more "Sephardic" treatment, a double anachronism, as had the song been in written when Aramaic was current, it would have been set to music that was centuries earlier to "pre-Sephardic" traditions) or the stunning, pull out all the stops beauty of "Vetaher Libeynu" (purify our hearts) from the Sabbath service. The band's ability to soar on it's own is also notable, as in the instrumental "Hora" or "Roumanian Bulgar" which shows how complete is Estelle Goldfarb's mastery of the violin.

This program is also a tribute to Martin Weinberg, who worked with Seewald for several years and passed away in 2001. If such an affirmation of a man's life, and of good music makes Seewald better known, that, too, would be koved, a good tribute.

Personnel this recording:
Zahava Seewald: concept, vocals
Didier Laloy: diatonic accordion
Estelle Goldfarb: violin
Walter Poppeliers: bass

Special Guest:
Tuur Florizoone: accordion


  1. Besarabye (words: Sarah Gorby; music: trad.) 4:31
  2. Skrip klezmerl, skripe (words: C. Towber; music: S. Secunda) 3:20
  3. Tsi darf es azoy zayn (words: Kastiel Broydo; music: anon.) 3:31
  4. De edad de quinze años (trad.) 3:48
  5. Hora (trad. klezmer) 2:43
  6. Nani, nani (trad. Judeo-Spanish) 3:33
  7. Had Gadya (trad. Aramaic) 4:48
  8. A tamganeydendikr nign tune (trad. Yiddish) 3:18
  9. Vetaher libeynu (Hebrew religious) 2:46
  10. Roumenian Bulgar (trad. klezmer) 3:11
  11. Vosik (trad. hasidic) 2:40
  12. A yidish klarinetele—A yiddish clarinet (unknown) 3:17
  13. Toshev enosh (Heb. religious) 1:44
  14. Vilne (words: A.L. Wolfson; music: Alexander Olshanetsky) 3:09
  15. A gleyzele lekhayim/Mazl tov (trad.) 2:26
  16. Vesomahto behogekho (Heb. religious) 2:55

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