Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

10

Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Paul Shapiro is one of the few who succeeded in blending organic soul and R&B with the Jewish tradition—the musical one and the liturgical texts—in a highly original, convincing manner. His fourth album for John Zorn's Tzadik label Radical Jewish Culture series enriches his unique and personal art.

Shofarot Verses is part of the service recited on the Jewish New Year, referring to the biblical story of a conversation between "the eternal" and Moses, when "the voice of the eternal and the sound of the Shofar became one." Shapiro is backed by his touring quartet, comprised of drummer Tony Lewis, who has played on each of Shapiro's albums, guitarist Marc Ribot, from many of Zorn's Masada-related projects, and double bassist Brad Jones.

Despite dramatic and reverential framing, as well his contemplative solo alto sax on "Hashivenu" and the quartet's bluesy "Ashamnu," both based on a melody taken from Yom Kippur (day of atonement) services, Shapiro's musical universe is open, passionate and joyful. Shapiro knows how to spice his catchy arrangements of Jewish modes with a sharp sense of humor. Together with Ribot, the two set a steamy, soulful atmosphere that enjoys the infectious, driving rhythm section of Lewis and Jones. Ribot turns out to be a perfect partner. He brilliantly expands the music with wild, seductive surf-rock meets Cuban and Balkan-tinged solos, and challenges Shapiro on intense yet playful duels, and stressing the ecstatic emotional catharsis.

The last piece, "With Reed and Skins," is an exception. This fascinating duet with percussionist Adam Rudolph is inspired by a morning in Sinai desert. The two form a deep, hypnotic melody that adds tribal Middle-Eastern scales to Shapiro's musical world.

Shapiro's best and most personal album so far, and one of the best in the RJC series.

Track Listing: Hashiven; Get Me to the Shul on time; Surfin’ Salami; Search Your Soul; Halil; Ashamnu; Daven Dance; In Phrygia; With Reed and Skins.

Personnel: Brad Jones: acoustic bass, vocals (7); Tony Lewis: drums; Marc Ribot: guitar; Paul Shapiro: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, shofar; Adam Rudolph: frame drum, udu drum, shakers, bell (9).

Title: Shofarot Verses | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tzadik


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Moments Captured" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Captured
by Andrew Luhn
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by James Nadal
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "LifeCycle" CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Earthshine" CD/LP/Track Review Earthshine
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Jazz Flute Traditions" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor