Theresa Tova / Live at the Top o' the Senator

This is typography? But it's the voice we care about, fortunately Theresa Tova
Live at the Top o' the Senator

Okay, now for something delightfully different. Anyone who has ever seen Theresa Tova perform on stage, or singing Yiddish, has surely said, "why should this amazing singer be limited to Yiddish?" Indeed. And, for that matter, why should Yiddish be segregated by itself, as though our songs and ballads belong in a ghetto? Isn't it obvious how much popular Second Avenue song was influenced by the wonderful jazz of the period (and vice versa!). Proof that great music is universal is offered up in this new recording by chanteuse Tova, which mixes the best of popular song in Yiddish, English, French--sometimes, even, English translated into Yiddish a lá Mandy Patinkin.

Opening with several songs in English, starting with "Guess I'll hang my tears out to dry," and "My Buddy," "My Funny Valentine," Tova moves on to "Sheyn vi di Levone", a Yiddish-English "Night and Day", and more. The audience especially enjoys (and me too!) her switch to Yiddish on "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"--"Christmas was always such a sad time for a little Jewish girl in Calgary". This is intimate jazz singing at its best. The fact that some of it is in Yiddish only goes to show how universal Yiddish is, and how well Yiddish song fits jazz and an intimate club atmosphere. The translations of Yiddish back into English are also excellent. Ending the album with a recent Bayla Schaechter-Gottesman song, "Der Saksafon Shpiler" is perfect.

I really enjoy this CD. I can now enjoy some of my favorite jazz standards along with wonderfully intimate jazz versions of some of my favorite Yiddish songs. It works most excellently. And I can't wait to see Tova on stage again. Until then, this will suffice, and keep me longing for more.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 3/22/03

Personnel this recording:
Teresa Tova: vocals
Mark Eisenman: piano (tracks 7, 9, 10, 12)
Alex Dean: Saxophones and flutes
John Sumner: drums
Kieran Overs: bass (tracks 7, 9, 10, 12)
Richard Whiteman: piano (all except 7, 9, 10, 12)
Steve Wallace: bass (all except 7, 9, 10, 12)
John Alcorn: vocal (track 6)


  1. Guess I'll hang my tears out to dry (Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne) 5:33
  2. My Buddy (Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson) 4:33
  3. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart) 5:35
  4. Vous m'eblouissez--"You go to my head" (Haven Gillespie and Fred Boots) 5:37
  5. Isn't it a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain (Irving Berlin) 3:28
  6. The Song is Ended (Irving Berlin) 4:55
  7. Vos Geven iz Geven--"What was is what was) (David Meyerowitz; english: Theresa Tova and Hindy Nosek-Abelson) 3:23
  8. Night and Day--"Tog und Nakht" (Cole Porter; Yiddish: Hindy Nosek-Abelson) 5:24
  9. Sheyn vi di levone (Khayim Tauber and Joseph Rumshinsky) 4:43
  10. Suppertime (Irving Berlin) 3:48
  11. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow--"Los es shnayen, los es shnayen, los es shnayen" (Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne; Yiddhs: Hindy Nosek-Abelson) 3:13
  12. Der Saksafon Shpiler--"the Saxsophone player" (Belya Schaechter-Gottesman; English: Hindy Nosek-Abelson) 4:43

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