All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Ain't It Grand?" CD/LP/Track Review Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Night Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Night Concert
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Fine Dining" CD/LP/Track Review Fine Dining
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by David Rocheleau-Houle
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Criss Cross" CD/LP/Track Review Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Throw Tomatoes" CD/LP/Track Review Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018