It's in the Twilight

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Saxophonist Paul Shapiro hit upon an unassuming yet incredibly effective update of traditional Jewish music with his first album as a leader, 2003's Midnight Minyan. Surrounding himself with a cadre of fellow downtown New York musicians, including trumpeter Steven Bernstein, pianist Brian Mitchell, bassist Booker King, and drummer Tony Lewis plus bi-coaster Peter Apfelbaum on saxophone, Shapiro recast greatest hits from the Jewish liturgy as jump, jazz 'n' jive numbers that were funny without being condescending and funky without resorting to force. The fun of the Midnight Minyan lay in its loving irreverence for age-old melodies, and Shapiro remarkably brings the same...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Saxophonist Paul Shapiro hit upon an unassuming yet incredibly effective update of traditional Jewish music with his first album as a leader, 2003's Midnight Minyan. Surrounding himself with a cadre of fellow downtown New York musicians, including trumpeter Steven Bernstein, pianist Brian Mitchell, bassist Booker King, and drummer Tony Lewis plus bi-coaster Peter Apfelbaum on saxophone, Shapiro recast greatest hits from the Jewish liturgy as jump, jazz 'n' jive numbers that were funny without being condescending and funky without resorting to force. The fun of the Midnight Minyan lay in its loving irreverence for age-old melodies, and Shapiro remarkably brings the same spirit to a set of originals composed, by and large, in a Jewish vein. Minyan was indebted to the Saturday morning Sabbath service; Twilight is all about the nighttime, specifically the transformation from Friday evening into the holy Day of Rest. Fittingly, Shapiro draws on just two liturgical moments from Friday night, the "Kiddush" on the wine and "Lecha Dodi," the welcome to the Sabbath Queen. His originals run the gamut from the Latin-styled opener, "Light Rolls the Darkness," to the Coltrane-inspired groove behind his arrangement for "Adon Olam," to the '40s-flavored jump "Oy Veys Mir." With remarkable melodies and a big, brawny sound, Shapiro's service connects with both sides of the Jewish jazz equation, and is bound to draw even more converts to the saxman's cause.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Arranger, composer, and saxophonist Paul Shapiro issued a whopper of a Tzadik debut in Midnight Minyan. That amazing set took six traditional Jewish melodies and ramped them up into a modern jazz blend that took meaty bits and pieces from post-bop and modal jazz, and deep honking R&B forms, and grafted them freely onto the originals. It was in his own compositions -- there were two -- where Shapiro's true musical brilliance shown brightest. On It's in the Twilight, Shapiro turns that record inside out and performs six originals and two devotional pieces. The same band performs Shapiro's music with energy, glee, and true sophistication. The romp starts on the first track, "Light Rolls the Darkness," a traditional piece. Shapiro grafts an Afro-Cuban rhythm and harmonic line onto the original melody and so what you get is a modern Jewish bolero. There is no stretching involved, either. The front line with Peter Apfelbaum and Shapiro on saxophones, Steven Bernstein on trumpet and slide trumpet later urged on by Brian Mitchell's piano playing is utterly groove-driven. Drummer Tony Lewis and bassist Booker King can shift on a dime, but can take the entire mess deeper and wider. Mitchell, for his part, allows traces of his influences to shine through from Herbie Hancock and Frank Emilio Flynn to Ramsey Lewis and Vince Guaraldi, his melodic and rhythmic sensibilities are fluid and in the pocket. Shapiro's "Children of Abraham" takes the big beat further on this gorgeous charger that brings in everyone from Latin jazz maestros Machito, and Tito Puente to the klezmer of Dave Tarras. The lyric line is grafted onto salsero and bolero while remaining fully Jewish. But when the honking and shouting goes on in the solos, it's strictly edgy post-bop with an ear for the rail. On "Oy Veys Mir," the melodies come from Yiddish folk forms but are laid out in bluesed-out Ellingtonia from the Cotton Club era as it met the great soloists of the Duke's Blanton-Webster band. And so it goes: there isn't a moment on this wonderful set that doesn't push the listener toward delight; it swings, wails, sings, and cries with pleasure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/21/2006
  • Label: Tzadik
  • UPC: 702397810728
  • Catalog Number: 8107
  • Sales rank: 267,238

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul Shapiro Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Peter Apfelbaum Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Tony Lewis Drums
Brian Mitchell Piano
Steven Bernstein Trumpet, Vocals, Slide Trumpet
Booker King Acoustic Bass
Technical Credits
Peter Apfelbaum Arranger
Tony Lewis Arranger
Brian Mitchell Arranger
John Zorn Executive Producer
Scott Hull Mastering
Joe Hogan Engineer
Steven Bernstein Arranger
Heung-Heung "Chippy" Chin Cover Photo
Traditional Composer
Paul Shapiro Arranger, Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Chris Girard Producer
Booker King Arranger
Ian Duncan Ball Portrait Photography
Chris Girand Audio Production
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