Diaspora Hollywood

Diaspora Hollywood

by Steven Bernstein


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Diaspora Hollywood

The sound shimmers and fades like the sunlight glinting off a swimming pool, an idyll of vibes and muted trumpet. But to hear the melody, that of a beloved Hebrew prayer, "Yis May Hoo," is to feel the dislocation of Irving Berlin some 60 years ago, composing "White Christmas" poolside in Beverly Hills. Where Jews fit in to the rose-tinted world of Hollywood is the subject of trumpeter Steven Bernstein's third Diaspora recording (the answer, by the way, is everywhere). In this salute to the unique experience of West Coast Jewry, Bernstein draws inspiration from the extreme dislocations of a generation of movie soundtrack mavens, including Franz Waxman, Alfred Newman, David Raskin, and Max Steiner, many of whom were Jewish immigrants plucked from the ghettos of Russia and Poland, ultimately to land in Tinseltown. Bernstein, ever the Method actor, left his downtown New York compatriots behind and convened a group of L.A. hands (bari sax man Pablo Calogero, drummer Danny Frankel, bassist David Pilch, and vibraphonist DJ Bonebrake, onetime drummer for X) to cook up this noir-inspired set. In addition to the "Yismachu" are interpretations of the Passover favorite "Eliyahoo Hanavee," the party-starting "Havenu Shalom Alechum," and two transcriptions from cantorial music (Diaspora Blues, with the Sam Rivers trio, was Bernstein's full-length look at the cantor's art). Notable are three originals that come closest to the trumpeter's work with Sex Mob, including a suitably creepy "Meyer Lansky" and "King Kong," a nod to Max Steiner's signature score. Together, Bernstein and band add another chapter to the American Jewish experience. Nighthawks at the deli, anyone?

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/2004
Label: Tzadik
UPC: 0702397719120
catalogNumber: 7191
Rank: 145120


  1. Yis May Hoo
  2. King Kong
  3. Jehudis Bas Zion
  4. Hollywood Diaspora
  5. Meyer Lansky
  6. B'rich Sh'me
  7. Eliyahoo Hanavee
  8. Sim Sholom
  9. B'archu
  10. V'shamru
  11. Havenu Shalom Alechum

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steven Bernstein   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Pablo Calogero   Flute,Bass Clarinet,Bass Flute,Baritone Saxophone
Danny Frankel   Percussion,Bongos,Drums
David Piltch   Bass,Double Bass
Don Bonebrake   Vibes
Dick Akright   Trumpet

Technical Credits

John Zorn   Executive Producer
Woody Jackson   Engineer
Steven Bernstein   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Traditional   Composer
Josef Rosenblatt   Composer
Henry Rosenblatt   Arranger
Mimi Universe   Cover Photo

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