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The latest from the Knitting Factory’s “Jewish Alternative Movement” series is titled, With Every Breath “The Music of Shabbat At BJ”, featuring an aggregate of diverse musicians well known for their contributions to “new” or “modern jazz”, or in some circles – The NYC Downtown Scene. A recording with religious underpinnings, “The Music of Shabbat At BJ” is ..”the living music of Congregation Binai Jeshurun in New York City (BJ to all who know it)”.
What we have here are twelve solemn or “sacred” songs produced and arranged by keyboardist-composer Anthony Coleman featuring lead vocalists Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and Hazan Ari Priven along with fine ensemble work from the versatile cast of musicians. To many, it comes as no surprise that artists such as guitarists Marc Ribot and Brad Shepik and cellist Erik Friedlander wear many hats as their extensive and disparate resumes will prove. Here, luminaries such as cellist Erik Friedlander, trombonist Josh Roseman, percussionist Jim Pugliese and others contribute nicely to these gorgeous pieces which lift the spirit and celebrate life regardless of one’s denomination or beliefs. Hymns for the soul, uplifting and overall beauty is portrayed via deeply moving vocals, pleasant arrangements and a melding of various Jewish melodies also integrated with Turkish and South Asian modal concepts. It’s not jazz – nor is it distinctly classifiable. You may feel a bit better about life in general – it is that positive and absorbing! * * * ½
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...