10

Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses
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).

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Bernstein Reimagined
Bernstein Reimagined
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Read Faune
Faune
Raphaël Pannier Quartet
Read En Casa Limon
En Casa Limon
David Broza
Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist
Read Auge
Auge
Aki Takase / Christian Weber / Michael Griener
Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.