- Audio CD (26 Sep 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Putumayo World Music
- ASIN: B00004X0KU
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Di Goldene Pave (Chava Alberstein &The Klezmatics) - Chava Alberstein|
|2. Rad Halaila (The Burning Bush) - The Burning Bush|
|3. Fel Shara (KlezRoym) - Klezroym|
|4. Shabbat Medley (Zohar) - Zohar|
|5. Rachamim (Ofra Haza) - Ofra Haza|
|6. Kona Hora (Uzca) - Uzca|
|7. Meron Nign (The Klezmer Conservatory Band) - Klezmer Conservatory Band|
|8. Ija Mia Mi Kerida (Janet & Jak Esim) - Janet Esim|
|9. Las Estreyas (Consuelo Luz) - Consuelo Luz|
|10. Dancing On Water (Finjan) - Finjan|
|11. Shalom Aleichem (Fortuna) - Fortuna|
The first cut is Di Goldene Pave (The Golden Peacock) from the 15 year old band, The Klezmatics, and the Polish born Israeli songstress, Chava Alberstein. The lyrics are based on a Yiddish poem by Russian-Jewish-American poet, Anna Margolin. It is rendered as a beautiful Yiddish classic lullaby.
The second cut is from the British group, Burning Bush. Rad Halaila (The Night is Strong) is a well known Hassidic Hebrew melody calling upon an eternal god to return, return (shuvi, shuvi) to your children so that we can dance a hora. The clarinet riffs and accordion and violin backups are worth the purchase of the CD. The third cut comes to the CD from Italy's top Jewish ensemble, KlezRoym. They sing Fel Shara, a traditional Sephardic love song in Ladino, Italian, English, Arabic and French, English and Arabic. The lead singer, Eva Coen. The fourth cut is a melody for the Sabbath from Philadelphia-born pianist Uri Caine and singer Aaron Bensoussan. It is a mix of traditional Sephardic music with jazz. Their rendition of Lecha Dodi makes you want to welcome the Sabbath castanets.
The fifth cut is by the late Israeli singer, Ofra Haza, the Queen of Israeli Yemenite music. She passed away last year at age 41. In her song, Rachamim, you can just feel compassion descending upon her in the sounds of the woodwinds. (but then of course, Rachamim can be the name of her lover). The sixth cut didn't do anything for me. Uzka is short for Marcus Uzilevsky (Rusty Evans). In Kona Hora, he returns to his Jewish roots and couples violin lines inspired by Jewish melodies with Middle-Eastern percussion. He sings in a gibberish he calls his "spirit language" which I think sounds like Hebrew, but don't tell him that.
The seventh cut is by Hankus Netsky and his 21 year old Klezmer Conservatory Band. Their Meron Nign was well-arranged by the madolin-playing Jeff Warschauer. The mix of Hassidic niggun and middle eastern style is peppy. I expected a vocal to start at any moment, but it never comes. (kind of like the messiah) You kind of want to run out to Meron and shave your kids head (not). The eighth cut is from Turkish Jewry. Ija Mia Mi Kerida (My Dear Daughter) is sung in Ladino in a style of father and daughter in conversation, to beautiful guitar backup. The ninth cut is Las Estreyas (the Stars), sung by Chilean born Consuelo Luz of Santa Fe It is a love ballad from pre-Inquisition Spain. Although raised Catholic, she discovered converso-Jewish roots on her mother's side (the Avila family of the converso, St. Teresa of Avila), and now sings in Ladino. The tenth cut is from Ontario's 18 year old klezmer ensemble, Finjan. Dancing on Water is based on a classic, niggun-like melody. Make you want to skate or dance. The CD closes with a selection from Fortuna, a bossa nova singer from São Paulo, Brazil. She started to dream of Sephardic tunes and explored its heritage, recording 4 CD's. Her Shalom Aleichem piece is not as exciting as her life story, but it includes excellent guitar accompaniment and it somehow seemed as if a Flamenco dancer was involved in the backup.
This musical history review includes songs from each of the three main Jewish culture categories: Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Sephardic. The performers come from all parts of the world. Some songs are new and others have ancient roots.
My only question is When will "A Jewish Odyssey II" be issued. The CD is enjoyable and a hit. Movie makers would have issued III by now. Buy with Nachas. L'Chaim,
Alan D. Kardoff, Melbourne FL