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Paul Shapiro: It's in the Twilight

Dan McClenaghan By

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Consider a single member of any ethnic group in America (so the joke goes), and that person has more fun at one wedding reception than a "regular Anglo-Saxon white dude" does in his whole life. It's an unfair and untrue observation, of course, but saxophonist Paul Shapiro's It's in the Twilight does make a case for ethnic exuberance, joy and fun.

The disc comes to us from John Zorn's Tzadik label, known for melding traditional Jewish music with modern jazz. The New York-based Shapiro moves that quest forward with his quintet, stirring up a heady brew: a mix of a danceable Latin flavor on "Light Rolls the Darkness," a bunch of soul on "Children of Abraham" (a tune that sounds sort of Like James Brown's "Nightrain" churning in the direction of the synagogue), and a Cab Calloway-esque, good-time rollick on "Oy Veys Mir," which features Brian Mitchell's honky-tonk piano and a romping Gene Krupa-like drum solo by Tony Lewis. All of this is swirled into a base of traditional Jewish music.

It's in the Twilight has a Friday night, coming of the Sabbath atmosphere—the Sabbath, a time of leisure, for eating and drinking and talking and "messing around." The three-horn front line of Shapiro (tenor sax), Steven Bernstein (trumpet and slide trumpet) and Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax) has what Celeste Sunderland, in her AAJ review of Shapiro's Midnight Minyan, called a "brassy panache": a loose-limbed, jazzy fervor.

It's in the Twilight, a excellent set, moves the Jewish-jazz mix forward.


Track Listing: Light Rolls Away the Darkness; Children of Abraham; The Sun Keeps on Coming Up; Lecha Dodi Twilight; Kiddush; Oy Veys Mir; Adon Olam; One Must Leave So Another Can Come

Personnel: Paul Shapiro: tenor sax, vocals; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet, vocals; Peter Apfelbaum: tenor sax, vocals; Bian Mitchell: piano; Booker King accoustic bass; Tony Lewis: drums.

Title: It's In The Twilight | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Tzadik


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