In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2005 /16 Elul, 5765

New year, new and old sounds: Five new CDs for the High Holidays

By Paul Wieder

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Chanukah probably has the catchiest songs of any Jewish holiday, but the High Holidays are hard to beat for sheer musical depth. Jewish composers have been inspired by the season's themes of repentance and redemption for centuries, creating a whole body of profound work.

Many recent releases, in a variety of styles, can help awaken sluggish souls to the spirit of this time of year.

The Milken Archive is dedicated to preserving and presenting the major works of American Jewish composers. Its two-disc edition of "The First S'lihot" features the powerful vocals of Cantor Benzion Miller honoring both the words of the liturgy and the arrangements of his cantorial forebears, including Yoselle Rosenblatt. He is accompanied by full choruses and both adult and young soloists. Haunting and stirring, this is very old school- old shul?- music that still resonates.

There are no instruments on "The First S'lihot", and none on this disc, either. But you will have a hard time believing that the drums, basses and harmonies are all voices. Or maybe not, after you see which voices help Kol Zimra out: Shlomie Dachs, Elli Kranzler, Yehuda!, and Blue Fringe's Dov Rosenblatt, for starters. The performers and source material are strictly Orthodox, but the songs' treatments are not; Rockapella's Sean Altman produced this album, which may explain why it can sound like everything from Boys II Men to Manhattan Transfer. It is redundant to say that Jewish vocalists are "out of the chapel" (which is what "a cappella" literally means) but the guys in Kol Zimra are also out of this world.


Click on title. Sales help fund JWR

This album presents even fewer instruments --- just one voice and a piano.

But the voice is Sam Glaser's, and the piano his playing his arrangements. Which is plenty. Glaser moves beyond the usual and-here-they-are-again concept of best-of compilations with "Edge of Light", reinterpreting some of his most spiritual songs from his previous albums. Glaser's voice, unplugged and unadorned, is both strong and warm; why hasn't be been cast as Joseph in the musical yet? And Sha-Rone Kushnir's delicate, crystalline playing recalls George Winston's, and is also featured, solo, on a bonus disc. An inspiring work.

Evidently, giving the Jewish world a new nigun (powerful wordless melody) for Sabbath on "Friday Night Live" and "One Shabbat Morning" isn't enough for some people. On "Inscribed", Taubman starts with the High Holiday liturgy and follows its themes throughout the Jewish year, touching on some of lesser-used material. After his showcasing some of the best Jewish musicians around on the Celebrate Series he produces, it is nice to see Taubman stretching his own musical muscles again. Here, he smoothes his sandy voice over some new moving and meditative melodies. The V'al Kulam here is one of the most simply and beautifully elegant settings of Jewish liturgy since... well, since the Hashkivenu on Taubman's Friday Night Live album.

Anyone who knows the blues knows it is a deeply spiritual music. And an album with tunes named "Peace Love & Joy," "Life Goes On," and "Higher Ground" certainly favors that side of the blues. But here, Lazer Lloyd does not forget the other side... the one that people need to be lifted to the Higher Ground from. Lloyd was born in Madison, Connecticut, played in bands starting in high school, and majored in music at Skidmore.

He eventually opened for Johnny Winter and Little Feat. Lloyd plays the kind of blues you would expect from someone who grew up wandering around Nature; call it laid-backwoods blues. His influences run from Stevie Ray Vaughn and Neil Young to Willy Nelson, and of course Bob Dylan. But also the Ba'al Shem Tov, the Chofetz Chaim, and the Rebbe. There are no overt Jewish references on Higher Ground, but the messages of faith, acceptance, and salvation are embedded in the lyrics... and flow from every guitar lick, slide, and wail.

The High Holidays are a time for introspection, reflection, resolution. They also gives us some of the most soulful music of the Jewish year. May 5766 be one of both melody and harmony.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Wieder is a public relations associate at the Jewish United Fund and a columnist for JUF News. Contact the author or the magazine by clicking here.

© 2005, Paul Wieder