New York-based Israeli songstress Hadar Orshalimy offers her second album Witchcraft (The Jewish Women of the Great American Songbook), containing nine often-recorded and well-known standards, all written by Jewish women. This project is a follow-up to her critically-acclaimed debut It Never Was You (Self-Produced, 2019) which presented a repertoire of music from famous Jewish composers. This second effort continues the journey of her cultural and religious heritage, driven by her passion for music. A glimpse into her past reveals a strong and remarkable lady, for whom singing beautiful songs is a piece of cake compared to once being an IDF sergeant and former trainer in biological and chemical warfare in the Israeli army.
Armed with a smoky, rich contralto voice, Hadar proceeds to interpret time-honored classics from such writers as Dorothy Fields, lyricist and playwright Betty Comden, Canadian pianist and songwriter Ruth Lowe, Broadway and film composer Carolyn Leigh, and lyricist Ann Ronell best known for the standard "Willow Weep For Me." The music takes flight with the immortal Fields' piece "The Way You Look Tonight" and simmers on the Leigh and Cy Coleman collaboration "The Best is Yet to Come."
The vocalist's strong performance on the Comden classic "Just in Time" is accompanied well by saxophonist Sam Sadigursky and fellow Israeli musician, pianist Yaniv Taubenhouse, who is also particularly pronounced on the familiar "Witchcraft," with Hadar voicing the song in a sultry and wicked fashion. The music turns a bit somber on two mellow breakup tunes, Camden's "The Party's Over," and Lowe's heart-wrenching "I'll Never Smile Again" featuring Hadar on two emotional settings.
The album draws to a tender close with Leigh's unforgettable "Young at Heart," and the warm and delicate "Some Other Time," as the songstress delivers a wonderful version of this golden standard. With Hadar lending her unique vocal approach to beautiful songs that will last forever, Witchcraft is more than a homage to the Jewish women composers of classics, it is also a tribute to herself, an elegant Jewish singer with a great deal of spirit to match.
The Way You Look Tonight; Just In Time; The Best is Yet to Come; Willow Weep For Me; I'll Never Smile
Party's Over; Witchcraft; Young At Heart; Some Other Time.
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