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Music for the Kabbala
     

Music for the Kabbala

by Atzilut
 
The Kabbala itself is not a singular object from a single culture, but a collection of teachings, poetry, and scripture from a number of Jewish groups after the diaspora. As such, there are elements of Spanish and North African culture in the Sephardic portions of Music for the Kabbala. Russian, German, and Baltic

Overview

The Kabbala itself is not a singular object from a single culture, but a collection of teachings, poetry, and scripture from a number of Jewish groups after the diaspora. As such, there are elements of Spanish and North African culture in the Sephardic portions of Music for the Kabbala. Russian, German, and Baltic influences are found in the Ashkenazic portions, and there are Yemenite and Israeli influences in the Middle Eastern portions. This album represents that multiplicity well, with instrumentation covering a swath of land beyond that covered by Judaism (including some Indian and sub-Saharan instruments, largely percussion as is the wont for fusion groups), and the music and lyrics covering similarly wide areas and eras. While the lyrical content is indeed drawn from the Kabbalistic works, it is paired with musics almost incongruous at times. A basic piece from the Psalms is given an almost Celtic sound in Hallelu-Yah (as is a Baltic piece later in the set), and a bit from the Song of Songs an otherwordly feel with the featuring of a didgeridoo and a bullroarer. Included here and there are some nice pieces of klezmer, with music from the likes of Ray Musiker and a cameo from Frank London. It's in the more strictly Middle Eastern pieces that the Atzilut really shines. The percussion is used to great effect, and violins and ouds take center stage with the vocals. In a couple of cases Simon Shaheen provides some highly quality guest-work. The vocals and playing are both excellent throughout the double-disc set, with fine contributions from all parties involved, particularly Jack Kessler and his cantorial vocals. The only real detraction to be found here is the seeming incoherence of the choices of works and their ordering. The album jumps frantically from continent to continent, age to age, instrument to instrument. Still, as Jewish fusion goes, this is an outstanding example by all measures and the Kabbala makes a perfect platform for the cultural explorations.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/11/2006
Label:
Arc Music
UPC:
0743037201025
catalogNumber:
2010
Rank:
253935

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Atzilut   Primary Artist
Simon Shaheen   Violin,Oud
Frank London   Trumpet,Soloist
James Babb   Dumbek,Frame Drum,Group Member
Joseph Kessler   Violin,Viola,Electric Violin,Group Member
Bruce Kaminsky   Acoustic Bass,keyboard bass,Group Member
Jack Kessler   Guitar,Vocals,spanish guitar,Musical Direction
Elliott Levin   Flute,Piccolo,Group Member
Harold Smith   Didjeridu
Harold "Hal" Smith   Didjeridu
Rinat Shaham   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Jim Babb   Dumbek
Roger Mgrdichian   Oud
Michael Moss   Bass Clarinet
Joe Ruscitto   Djembe,Frame Drum
Lenny Seidman   Tabla,Frame Drum
Samuel Heifetz   English Horn,Oboe
Rich Moskowitz   Percussion,Djembe

Technical Credits

Andy Kravitz   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Frank London   Producer,Audio Production
Guy Lutze   Engineer
Naftule Brandwein   Composer
Jack Kessler   Arranger,Composer,Director,Producer,Audio Production
Traditional   Composer
Alex Stokes   Cover Design
Ray Musiker   Composer

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