Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

380

Reuben Hoch and the Chassidic Jazz Project: Live at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

By

Sign in to view read count
There is no doubt that Jews have contributed as much to the evolution of jazz as any ethnic group. A short list of great Jewish jazz musicians would include Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Stan Getz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Paul Desmond. Jews have made some great contributions to jazz in other ways as well. Blue Note founders Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff were both Jewish, just like Leonard Feather and Nat Hentoff. And then, of course, there’s yours truly.

But while Jews have been playing, producing, and writing about jazz for almost as long as jazz has been an art form, jazz itself is rooted in African-American culture. This is not to say that Jews like Goodman and Getz did not made the music they played their own, but ultimately jazz is and has been an African-American form. It is only comparatively recently, through the work of John Zorn and his Tzadik label, that Jewish music has been fused with (largely avant-garde) jazz.

The Chassidic Jazz Project is trying to take it one step further.

Drummer Reuben Hoch is jazz musician. He is also a Jew. In 1998 he and a group of like-minded musicians set out to create music that would fuse jazz and traditional Chassidic music in new and exciting ways. For those not in the know, the Chassidic movement was founded in Eastern Europe around 1736 by Israel Ba'al Shem Tov. While most people today associate the Chassidim with the ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism (characterized by somber black clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and forelocks), the movement founded by Ba’al Shem Tov was religiously ecstatic, emphasizing a deeply personal connection between man and God. This was often done through celebration, dancing, and – of course – music. Chassidic music is often vigorous and celebratory. It is also deeply soulful, touching the spirit in an amazingly profound way. It is no exaggeration to say that Chassidic music is as uplifting as the gospel of Mahalia Jackson, and as reflective as the deep Mississippi Delta Blues.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Chassidic music lends itself superbly to jazz interpretation. This debut recording by the Chassidic Jazz Project is magnificent, containing some truly astonishing performances by a group of musicians that, I must admit, were largely unfamiliar to me. Each track is outstanding, capturing a group in full swing. From the joyous opening track, “Avinu Malkeinu,” to pianist Don Friedman’s two astonishing feature tracks (a breathtakingly lovely reading of “Shalom Aleichem” and an upbeat version of “Shabbat Shalom,” which is transformed in Friedman’s hands), each performance is a winner. Hoch himself drives the show from his drum kit, while Felipe Lamoglia’s tenor and soprano saxophones leave no doubt that this is jazz of the highest order. Live at the Broward Center comes highly recommended as a unique blend of two distinctive musical traditions. After the Chassidic Jazz Project, neither tradition will be the same.

Track Listing: Avinu Malkeninu; Keli Atoh; Adon Olam Medley; Shalom Aleichem; Shabbat Shalom; Bilvavi; Crackow Nigun.

Personnel: Reuben Hoch, drums; Tom Lippincott, guitars; Felipe Lamoglia, tenor & soprano saxophones; Marie Randel, viola & violin; Barbra Corcillo, cello; Dan Feiszli, bass; Bobby Thomas Jr., percussion; Don Friedman, piano (Shalom Aleichem & Shabbat Shalom).

Title: Live at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: RH Factor Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019