Between Heaven & Earth: Music of the Jewish Mystics

Between Heaven & Earth: Music of the Jewish Mystics

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by Andy Statman
     
 
Bridging the spirituality of American jazz with the searching, trance-like ecstasy of Hasidic melody, Andy Statman's Between Heaven and Earth was a revelation in the worlds of Jewish music and jazz alike. Statman, the mandolinist/clarinetist who grew into Orthodoxy out of his experience in the acoustic music and klezmer revivals of the '70s, leads a quartet

Overview

Bridging the spirituality of American jazz with the searching, trance-like ecstasy of Hasidic melody, Andy Statman's Between Heaven and Earth was a revelation in the worlds of Jewish music and jazz alike. Statman, the mandolinist/clarinetist who grew into Orthodoxy out of his experience in the acoustic music and klezmer revivals of the '70s, leads a quartet here, including pianist Kenny Werner, drummer Bob Weiner, and bassist Harvie Swartz. Exploring nigunim, the wordless devotional melodies improvised by European Hasidic masters, Statman and his group mine the rich ecstatic potential of these old-world melodies and modern improv jazz. Cohorts from Statman's bluegrass days show up as well. Banjo ace Bela Fleck and mandolin sage David Grisman lend a pensive rural air to "Chassidic Waltz" that contrasts with the urbane settings of "Maggid" and the searching "Reb Nachman's Deveykus Niggun." The transcendant results, captured as they unfold in the studio, are penetratingly, naturally, and profoundly spiritual. This is not klezmer or any other kind of Jewish musical entertainment. Rather, Between Heaven and Earth is a devotional experience of undeniable power. In fact, Statman's bandmates, convened for this date from a variety of jazz projects, dropped everything after completing the album to fully explore the rich spiritual well that had opened in their midst. Don't be surprised if the same happens to you with just one listen.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bob Tarte
Veteran klezmer musician Andy Statman, who inherited a clarinet from klezmer legend Dave Tarras, leaves the past behind on a series of John Coltrane-inflected voyages to the dark, mystical heart of Yiddish music. Featured are cosmic jazz interpretations of devotional music (deveykus niggum), table-songs (tisch niggunim), and traditional dances (rikkudim). While most of the material unfurls slowly, a pair of cuts with guesting newgrass banjo player Béla Fleck absolutely sparkle. On "Purim Niggun," Statman and Fleck even abandon the reverential tone of the rest of the disc to kick their heels at a dance tune Statman originally learned from an old Naftule Brandwein 78 rpm recording. Most of the pieces were recorded live in the studio with lots of improvising by Statman and quartet members Kenny Werner, Harvie Swartz, and Bob Weiner, and the lack of overdub diddling results in a terrific immediacy.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/21/1997
Label:
Shanachie
UPC:
0016351647924
catalogNumber:
64079
Rank:
341392

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Between Heaven & Earth: Music of the Jewish Mystics 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't really impressed with this CD. It wasn't a spiritual experience. The music was more of an annoyance. Lots of clarinet and lots of nervous energy. Many of the pieces sounded the same or similar. Faint tinges of Jewish melodies, but nothing that seemed to connect to famous Jewish melodies of the past.