Monday, September 29, 2003

In Shul on Rosh Hashana

I found this Jewish Ledger article interesting. I can totally relate to this sentiment:
"I remember attending a Rosh Hashanah service in college, at the University of Massachusetts, and singing Zochrenu L'Chayim' and trying to imagine what it might look like if I scored it on manuscript paper. That was not a particularly sacred' thought to be running through my head, but it was all I could imagine at that moment.  What meter would I use?  What would be a good key for it?"
I haven't heard Chevan's new recording, but it sounds intriguing.

Via Klezmer Shack

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Shul-house Rock!

This week's edition of Jewsweek has an interesting article on "Shul house rock."

The article describes the phenomenon of live rock music in Conservative synagogue's on Shabbat.

Rabbi Mark Bloom, who directs the band at the Family Rock and Roll Shabbat at Oakland's Temple Beth Abraham says:
"Halachically, it's not that you can't play musical instruments," Bloom says. "It's that you can't carry them or fix them." Such restrictions were "gray anyway," he says, noting that many Conservative synagogues already have microphones and sound systems."
Apparently, he's never heard of hashma'as kol!

The best line in the article has to be this quote from self-described jazz fanatic Rabbi Alan Lew of San Francisco's Congregation Beth Sholom.
"Shabbat is supposed to be about not having rock and roll."
Although it is not halachically allowed, there are some great music resources for those who do permit music in shul on Shabbat.

The recording "With Every Breath: The Music of Shabbat at BJ"
has interesting musical arrangements of some of the songs they play and sing at their Friday night service in Manhattan which draws 1,500-2,00 people. It includes Sephardic melodies, Shlomo Carlebach tunes, Hasidic nigunim, and more. The lead vocals are by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstien, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, and Hazzan Aryeh Priven, with backup vocals by Lizzie Leiman Kraiem and Basya Schechter.

Craig Taubman's original "Friday Night Live" service, --the recording features Craig and Caren Glasser on vocals-- held monthly in California, attracts about 1600 people. Both services are being duplicated elsewhere, like in Lancaster, PA where the "Chopped Liver River Band" performs their adaptation of the "Friday Night Live" service.

Mark Bloom's "Jazz Shabbat" is also quite interesting. The recording features Mark and some female vocalists performing his jazz Shabbat service.

I'm opposed the turning of "davening" into entertainment as often occurs in "frum" shuls when they have "Carlebach davenings", but I do think that these original prayer services can have a tremendous impact on those who otherwise wouldn't attend synagogue.

With regard to the "Carlebach-style" davenings, I think that they can also be quite moving, but I've found that in many cases, the atmosphere in "frum" shuls featuring these is one of entertainment rather than worship. In general, I find that they tend to work better when they are spontaneous rather than when they are scheduled.

Music should be used to enhance the "tefilos" and not as a distraction from them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Yentl's Sick of Herself

This article made me laugh!
"Barbra Streisand says she finds listening to her own songs is so boring that it was one of the reasons she gave up public performing three years ago."

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Apple's OyPod!

Everyone should have an "Oy Pod" mp3 player.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Bye, Bye, Phil!

Here's an interesting post about the upcoming release of the Beatle's album "Let It Be...Naked" reviewed here.
Apparently, Paul McCartney hated the sweeteners that Phil Spector added to the album and is re-releasing it the way he always intended for it to sound.

I've always wondered what some of the Jewish albums would sound like if the cheesy arrangements were removed.

Culture Update!

Here's a treat for those interested in Jewish music oldies, here's a video clip of Leonard Nimoy singing the "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins." (Quictime player required.)

I've never been asked to play this.

Via Dave Barry's blog.

The Town Crier Discovers the Wheel

EphShap has discovered "Chassidic jazz."

This is nothing new. Jazz exploration of Jewish music has been going on for a long time.
There is also "Carlebach jazz," (click on the recordings page for a swinging jazz guitar version of Mizmor L'david), "Klezmer jazz," and jazz arrangements of traditional Jewish music. (Note: just a few of many possible links.)

There are numerous artists in many genres doing some really interesting stuff with Jewish melodies. I'm not even including the incredible body of new original Jewish music that's out there.

The Jewish music scene is much larger than the "Hasidisco" coming out of Brooklyn and Israel.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Dissed Again!

There's a passing reference to contemporary Chasidic music in this review of an avant-garde recording by Koby Israelite.

"Although Dance of the Idiots can veer dangerously close to cheesy Chasidic Casio Karaoke…"

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Rate That Kugel!

Here's a kugel review by trombonist Jim Leff in which he describes his perspective on playing Orthodok/Hasidic weddings.
"The dark side of the current klezmer music craze is that a musician who's learned the style finds himself qualified to make plenty kesh playing Jewish weddings. I don't mean swanky affairs at Great Neck catering halls with chopped liver sculptures and toupeed high school band teachers warbling Wind Beneath My Wings; I mean the hard-core stuff, Orthodox and Hassids dancing sweaty ecstatic circles while the band blares a nonstop succession of identical-sounding oom-pah tunes in snakey D-minor. Same-sex dancing and long curly sideburns. Blow your brains out for six hours of cacophonous mayhem in exchange for enough kesh to pay half your rent: it ain't bebop, but it's hard to resist."
"And thus I found myself--stylishly tricked out in yarmulke and polyester tux--playing for a particularly frum (religious) crowd. They were too pious to drink much, though a bottle of Old Williamsburgh (I kid you not) Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky was passed among the elders."
Here's the part about the kugel. Based on his description, I'm guessing that this was at either the Continental or Concord Plaza.
"At the head of the dance floor, in a position of supreme authority, was a table bearing three large rococo silver trays. I watched, fascinated, as all attention came to focus on this setup. With a flourish, the top of one vessel was opened to reveal a kugel. The second lid was removed, kugel again. Third...kugel kugel kugel. There followed a feeding frenzy, as yours truly jumped off the bandstand to try to salvage a morsel amidst the kugelly commotion."
"These, in truth, were not great kugels, but that's not the point. Kugel is intrinsically a Craved Thing: potato, egg, salt, grease. That's four of the Major Food Groups; you simply can't go wrong."
"The Three Sacred Offerings had nearly been forgotten when, as we started another set, I detected the wafting aroma of fresh kugel. There was even more being brought out. Amazing."
"We later stood around the starchy relics, debating the merits of the second kugel (eggier) versus the much-loved fifth kugel (very dense), when a waiter, with the earnest sense of duty and pride of purpose of a rabbi carrying the Torah, presented yet another tray."
"I was deeply moved by this elevation of kugel--a dish far too homely to be served in restaurants or at less earthy soirees. My head spun at each new serving until I was overcome, thrown into such an emotional tizzy that I found myself screaming--from my spot between a horrified trumpeter and a bemused tenor saxophonist--"By Golly, I'm PROUD to be Jewish!" I was having one of those life-changing moments, catalyzed by the dizzying procession of Bottomless Potato Puddings."
I never thought I'd see a professional food critic review the fare at the low-rent Kosher catering halls. What's next… a review of the chopped liver platter at

This isn't me III

This isn't my fan club website.

Monday, September 15, 2003

What's He Talkin' 'Bout???

Here's an essay from 2000 titled "The Power of Jewish Music"
by Cantor Paul S. Glasser, the former National Executive Director of NCSY.
"Jewish music affects the soul of the individual. Often it is the music of the Jewish people which motivates an individual to take a look at himself and grow from one stage to the next. Often it is Jewish music which, at a simcha, creates such excitement for the benefit of the baalei simcha that we become totally enveloped in its vibrancy and vitality. The power of Jewish music is substantial; in NCSY it has been a critical component of our message and has been used as such in our programs for over four decades."
"Can you imagine a Shabbaton or Yarchei Kallah which did not have Shabbos ebbing away with the traditional songs which move us at the end of Shabbos? Could you imagine a kumzits where the music did not play an essential role in the message of the Shabbaton theme? Music is used to motivate NCSYers to speak about themselves and their experiences. Jewish music has been paramount in the NCSY experience and the NCSY Shabbaton model."
"So why is Jewish music Jewish? Well, technically we use a particular solfeggio scale in which we have come to define Jewish music, both through its scale and its intonation."

Sounds good, right? The reason the Jewish music at an NCSY Shabbaton affects us in such a powerfull way is because of those magical "Jewish scales." (There are actually three common Jewish modes, not one.)Well, a look at the NCSY music poll results for the year the essay was published shows that not one of the songs nominated as best Jewish song of the year uses the "Jewish scales."

In point of fact, a quick look at websites for Midwest NCSY, New Jersey NCSY, and Southern Region NCSY shows that none of the songs typically sung at NCSY Shabbatonim uses the "Jewish" modes.

There are songs in these Jewish modes that may get played at an NCSY Shabbaton from time to time, but they are not an integral part of the Shabbaton experience. Tunes like T'hei, Moshe Emes,V'nisgov, and Mizmor L'Dovid are sometimes played, but aren't used in the same way as songs like "Someday" or Ya'aleh V'Yavo.

A look at the song selections on the liner notes of the recent "Shabbas Comes Alive" CD which attempts to present the songs one would hear at a typical NCSY Shabbaton shows that the CD doesn't contain any songs that use the Jewish modes.

Clearly, whatever the "magical" element of the Jewish music used at NCSY Shabbatonim is, it's not because of

Useful Info!

bagpipes assembly instructions.

On Respect and the Hasidic Rebel

Here’s an interesting blog post about Chassidim and classical music.

The author, Hasidic Rebel (no relation :)), also writes about the beauty of the older Jewish music recordings by Ben Zion Shenker, David Werdyger, and Yossele Rosenblatt.
There is something about the music and singing on those recordings that is just missing from today’s commercial Jewish music .

This post raises the issue of respect towards a community’s values with regard to music. The self-declared Hasidic Rebel turns off his classical music rather than offend a fellow Jew who views it as inappropriate. This is despite the fact that he can see no harm in it; the reality that a fellow Jew finds it objectionable is a good enough reason for him to turn it off while they are driving together.

Would that the purveyors of much of today’s music like this, this, and this had the same respect towards the community’s values.

Note: I’m not criticizing the music, for the most part, just the marketing towards segments of our community who find it objectionable. Additionally, the organizations who promote concerts featuring these groups need to think about their responsibility towards the communities whose Tzedakah dollars they are soliciting. The lifestyle these bands are promoting is not appropriate for the Yeshiva community .

Also, why are “seforim stores” in Brooklyn selling rock CD’s simply because the lead guitarist has also recorded some solo guitar albums of Carlebach? (I mean actual rock recordings, not the rock influenced Jewish music ala MBD and Avraham Fried that is coming out of Brooklyn.) Ditto for the YU Seforim Sale! The people in charge of the music department really ought to rethink some of their purchasing decisions.

More great JM PR

Which are you… an alien or a cave dweller?

“By now, if you haven't heard of Mendy Wald, you've either been on another planet or have been living in a cave!”

Way to turn a phrase!!! Must run out and buy this... wouldn't want to be uncool!

In Which the Chevra Get Caught Out...

This post on the Yahoo Jewish Music Board describes yesterday’s concert by the Chevra in Chicago.

The interesting part:

Then, after intermission the Chevra came on stage with Yehay, followed
by Lev Tahor, then Ki Malachov, Mi Bon Siach, Then they claimed to do "something they’ve never done in concert, special just for Chicago..." and did an acapella Shema Hashem, But they did the same thing at the Silver Spring concert I was at!!! Then they did a Carlebach Medley, same thing as the Silver Spring concert!!!!(Text slightly edited for ease of reading.)

This reminds me of the camp concerts I regularly play with various “stars” in the music business who invariably announce at some point during the concert that this is the most “ruach” filled camp they’ve performed at all summer. They make the same announcement at every single concert. This announcement is part of the de rigueur stage patter they use; the statement’s truth –or lack thereof-- doesn’t really appear to matter.

(I could go on about the stage patter in general, but I’ll leave that for another post.)
I think that too many Jewish Music artists have a very condescending, cynical view of the audiences they perform for. They feel as though they can spout bromides and platitudes, both in their advertisements (sorry, exclusive interviews;)) and at public appearances without being held to account.

I think that this dishonest behavior is wrong and wish that they would cut it out.
There’s no reason why they can’t tell a camp that they have a lot of energy without lying and saying that it was the liveliest crowd ever, especially, when the group at last night’s show had more energy.

Here too, there’s no reason for the Chevra to be introducing an acapella version of Shema Hashem as “something they’ve never done before in concert, special for Chicago” when they’ve done the same thing elsewhere in the past. A simple intro saying here’s something new we’d like to perform for you would have given the same info and feeling to the audience – that they’re going to hear something they haven’t heard before – without being dishonest.

More on the Fringe

Here’s an interesting review of the new Blue Fringe album.

Best line:

“And the vocals are all breathy and sultry, like singer Dov Rosenblatt is serenading a girl on his cordless phone while walking up and down the halls of Rubin Hall. G-d! What imagery!”
(For those who don't know, Rubin Hall is one of the Y.U. dormitories.)

Let's see... breathy, sultry singing of pesukim... sounds like Dov Rosenblatt is channeling Neshama Carlebach.

This isn't me either!

Music of the singing Rebbe!

P.S. And he paints too!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

More Reader email

One reader emails in response to my post about the music volume at weddings:
"There was one point in time where every single gig I played, this one annoying woman always was always in attendance...and it was her personal mission to complain about the volume.  Even during the shmorg when there was NO amplification and the drummer played with brushes, she would walk by the band holding her ears and give us a look.  I had HAD it! So one time during a dance set, when the volume is obviously a bit louder...she came up to me and yelled, "CAN ANYTHING BE DONE ABOUT THE VOLUME!!"  So I yelled back, "I'M SORRY..IT'S TURNED UP AS HIGH AS IT CAN GO!!"

There are some people who like to complain about everything. Perversely, the more they find to complain about, the happier they are. Not to stereotype, but there's usually at least one of these people at the weddings I've played in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Check out the Max Synagogue!

"The first program in history that sings the entire Jewish Holy Scriptures (the Old Testament) by computer speech synthesis according to ancient musical traditions."

Demonstration: If you are religious, say the Torah blessing before clicking!

Get the hook!

Jewish rapper Etan G. gets kicked off the Chabad Telethon. (Large file: 23 MB)

Monday, September 08, 2003

Bob Dylan and the Raisin Challah

Read all about it here.

Liner Notes

From Shloime Dachs'recent album liner notes:

"If Jewish music is the embodiment of our illustrious nation's heart and soul, then song is the medium by which one's emotions and feelings are expressed."

Also, "Sometimes, in our day in and day out routine, we go through our own trials and tribulations in life."

Does anyone edit these things?

Sunday, September 07, 2003

On the Fringe

Today, the Brooklyn seforim superstore, Eichler's celebrated the expansion of its entertainment section with a concert featuring many of today's popular Jewish Music performers including Blue Fringe.

I wonder which songs the bands performed… Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones"… Cream's "White Room"… Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"…???

Why is a Brooklyn seforim store promoting these guys?

Re: Rabbi Forsythe

I received an email with regard to my earlier post about Rabbi Jeff Forsythe's article in the Jewish Observer containing some derogatory comments about him and concluding:
" I wouldn't trust anything that he has to say about relationships, music or anything else. Don't get all worked up. He hasn't a clue."
I'm guessing that this is the same guy who sent a similar email to Protocols last week.

I wonder why he feels the need to send these emails. They are so uncool! I think that readers of Rabbi Forsythe's archives can form their own conclusions about what he has to say.

The main reason I'm perturbed by Rabbi Forsythe's article is because the Jewish Observer published it. The article is foolish and the editors should have rejected it instead of publishing it just because they agreed with the premise of the article. The Jewish Observer, the magazine of Agudas Yisroel, is read by many in the "yeshivish" community, and is influential on public policy within that community. And, they usually have higher standards then the Jewish Press.

At the time the article was published, I noticed a short-term upswing in the number of rude self-righteous comments about the volume directed at the bands I was freelancing with, even in cases when the bands were playing quite softly.

I once had a woman mention the article to me and say that she wanted the volume kept to the recommended level. I had to point out to her that the event was for 150 or so elementary school students and was taking place in a gym. When I asked her to listen to the noise level in the room before the music started, she conceded that the standard Rabbi Forsythe is pushing is simply unrealistic.

I think that the Jewish Observer missed an opportunity here. I agree with the basic premises that the music at weddings is often to loud, that this causes damage, and that something ought to be done. If they had published a serious, well-thought out article on the subject instead of Rabbi Forsythe's rant, they might have had a greater impact.

However, like the Arabs, they never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

In Which The Jewish Observer Gets Fisked!

A recent post on Protocols about Rabbi Jeff Forsythe reminded me of his Jewish Observer article "Welcome to Our Simcha! The serious effects of excessive amplification at public events." which was published in the September issue a few years back.

I emailed a response at the time, which both Rabbi Forsythe and the JO ignored, but am going to post some of my thoughts here now.
"The trumpets, the drum, the saxophone blast out the message: "Od yishama b'orei Yehuda… The cities of Yehuda will once again reverberate with joy." The friends of the chassan and kalla rush up to congratulate the new couple, while the rest of the guests try to read each other's lips – wondering why they left their earplugs at home."
Yeah, because the volume of the horn section playing sans amplification as they escort the Chosson and Kallah to the yichud room is unreasonably loud!

At this point in the wedding, the rest of the band is generally setting up in the main ballroom while only the horn players are playing Od Yishoma acoustically as they escort the Chosson and Kallah to the Yichud room. Usually the two to three horn players at a typical wedding have to struggle to be heard over the crowd.The only guests who would find the music uncomfortably loud at this point in the affair would be the jerks who stop to have a conversation directly in front of the trombone or trumpet player, and get in their way, ignoring the fact that they are trying to keep up with the Chosson and Kallah.
"The musicians have vested interests in playing loudly. The youth consider loudness “laibedik” (lively) and are likely customers when they will make their own chasunas, if they are impressed with the noisy band."
Where does he get this from? It’s true that some people like it loud, not only the “youth”, but musicians also have a vested interest in playing at reasonable volume levels too to preserve their hearing! It's interesting to note that Rabbi Forsythe can tell us what musician's motivations are without speaking to a single one. I know many musicians on the wedding scene who won't accept work with certain musicians or bands because the gig will be unpleasantly loud. Sure there are some jerks, but don't tar all of us with the same brush. Most of us like to play at normal volumes so that we can comfortably hear ourselves and focus on our musical interaction with the other musicians instead of having to focus on simply "being heard" above the noise.
"Incidentally, we should take note that a 30-piece symphony orchestra can be less threatening to the ear than a one-piece band that is electronically amplified, with its sound blasting forth from outsized speakers that can blow out one’s eardrums."
A 30-piece symphony playing without amplification would still be louder than the volume level the anonymous "frum" ear doctor he quotes later on in the article says is acceptable.
"The Rama (Choshen Mishpat 155:20) says that the halacha’s safety criteria are to be determined by experts in their respective field. A frum ear doctor, who has experience with the difficulties of treatment and with patients’ long-term suffering in noise-induced ear-damage cases, determined that for the sound-volume level to be safe, people in conversation ten feet apart should be able to speak in a normal tone and hear every word clearly and no one present at the function should have any pain or discomfort. Obviously, then, amplification should be carefully monitored at all functions – social and organizational."
Why is the ear doctor’s name not disclosed and of what relevance is his level of religious observance? He cites the Rema that Halacha is determined by the experts in a given field. We’re dealing with a medical statement, so let us know who this "frum" doctor is so we can assess his statement in light of his reputation and qualifications!

Additionally, the case isn’t helped through the setting of impossible benchmarks. The volume level this "frum ear doctor" recommends is simply unreasonable. It is impossible to have a conversation under those circumstances in shul while the chazzan is singing “L'cha Dodi” without a band. The assertion that this is an appropriate volume level for a live band at a wedding with hundreds of guests is just bogus!”

A few additional thoughts:

Rabbi Forsythe's Jewish Observer article is a condensed version of a series of articles that he'd originally published in the Jewish Press. Those articles are archived here. The tone in those articles is much more sanctimonious and self-righteous than the in JO article and also more ignorant! I will refrain from commenting on those articles for now, but must address one quote from this article.
"I have yet to meet any Jewish musician or singer who himself is a genuine Talmid Chochom…"
This is ignorance and arrogance at its highest level. I am aware of quite a few musicians who learn part time and support themselves by playing music at night. Some professional musicians that I know on the New York scene are mohelim, rebbeim, teachers, and Yeshiva administrators. And, many of them have smicha! Rabbi Forsythe owes these musicians - and the industry in general - a public apology.

With regard to the JO article:

There are occasionally events where the band is too loud through no fault of it's own. Some wedding halls are essentially school gyms and a crowd of 300 + people plus a live band will be loud even if the band is volume conscious. Also, in some halls, there are tables placed directly in front of the band. No matter how volume conscious the band is, those tables will probably not be good places to carry on conversations at during the dance sets.

In some halls, the band is set up with the men dancing in front of them and a mechitza and the women's dancing located on the far side of the room. In order to be heard in the farther section the band will have to raise the volume beyond that which is necessary for the closer men's dancing. It is possible to work around this by having two PA systems, but in many halls this simply isn't possible because the rooms are dual use and there's no time/space to set up an additional sound system. Also, this would increase the cost of the band.

There is an obvious solution to the problem, though, which he simply fails to mention, and that is to encourage people to take note of when a band is too loud and simply not hire them. I'd say that if you hear the same band play at painfully loud volume at two separate affairs, you should resolve to never hire them. If the community did this, things would change rather quickly. This would be a lot more effective than having the band agree to keep the volume down, and then having the ba'al simcha -- who presumably is busy hosting the affair -- monitor the volume the entire time.

Also, in many situations, the band doesn't get the opportunity to do a sound check before they start playing and feedback from the guests about the volume level is welcomed. It should go without saying that, if the band is too loud, then polite, respectful interaction is more likely to achieve results then the self-righteous rudeness that is often directed our way -- usually, by people who aren't dancing and have chosen to carry on a conversation directly in front of the speakers instead of stepping off to the side.

In any event, the solution to the problem is not to demonize musicians, and promote 'sinas chinam!"

Wanna Play The Drums?

Indulge your inner drummer here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Country Yossi is Scooped!!

Blog in Dm's ace reporting team is pleased to present Rochelle Maruch Miller's latesest inside interview with the newest Jewish Music star, Michoel Pruzansky, which is slated to be published in the upcoming edition"Country Yossi" Magazine.

OK, so it's really a paid ad... it claims to be an "exclusive interview" and we've got it here first!

Of special note is the fact that his new album (which of course is already a hit despite the fact that it hasn't been released yet) contains "disco horas." I kid you not!


Notice that this article is posted in the "Reviews" section rather than the "about Michoel." Section. This is to continue the deception that it's an actual review instead of a paid ad. Michoel isn't unique in this respect; he's simply doing what many of the successful (and not as successful) Jewish Music artists have done. This is unfortunately the standard "PR program" for new Jewish music.

For example, The Chevra, Shloime Dachs, Ira Heller, the Spice Boys, Eli Gerstner, Shimon Kugel, and Mendy Wald, all present these kinds of paid advertisements as "press" on their websites.

A few quick comments on the content of the ad… er… excuse me, exclusive interview,
The text of the article is in quotes with my comments immediately below

"Having studied voice with two distinguished Italian masters, he is presently studying with Cantor Nosson Glick, who has coached some of the world's most acclaimed vocalists."

So, who are these mysterious "distinguished Italian masters? I'd be more likely to buy the album if there was something that distinguished this vocalist from all of the other Nosson Glick/Hersh Einhorn students. Am I supposed to be impressed by the fact that they're Italian? Why not identify them… unless they are not particularly noteworthy. (Sorry, bad pun!)

"As a producer par excellence, Yochi is constantly inundated with myriad tapes from aspiring artists who hope to be "discovered." But there was something about this demo that clearly impressed him. Here was a young vocalist who had the makings of a star, possessed of a voice and a style that made the producer sit up and take notice. No doubt, he was very pleasantly surprised by what he heard. And you can well imagine how delighted Michoel was when later that day he received a phone call from Yochi Briskman himself, informing him that he would, indeed, be interested in working together with him on an album. "It was the culmination of a dream come true!" Michoel recalls." I wasn't sure whether Yochi would be interested at all, let alone get back to me that very same day."

Because Yochi isn't in this for the money, he won't produce an album unless he really believes there is talent there. Right! So how can we explain "Coby," the "Williger/Dachs Wedding Album," that really awful Purim album from a few years ago (the one with a trombone player continually blowing jazzy licks that don't match the songs and a butchered version of Ata Sakum on it), the Project X album with a wrong note in T'hei, Mostly Horas two… ???

"'The album appeals to all ages and all tastes,' Michoel tells us"

Wow, an album that appeals equally to people who love Alternative Rock, Big Band, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Choral, Classical, Indian, Country, Dance, Disco, Early Music, Easy Listening, Electronica, Experimental, Folk, Gamelan, Gospel, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Holiday, Jazz, Latin, Lounge, Marching Bands, Military Bands and Music, Native American, New Age, Opera, Polka, Pop, Progressive Rock, Punk, Rap, Reggae, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Swing, Vocal, and Zydeco music. Gonna have to get this one!!!

Got A Klezmer Question?

Ask Dr. Klez!

He also leaves us with the Blog in Dm "Sufi Thought of the Day!"

"There is an old Sufi anecdote related to this: Hodsha is playing his saz (long-neck lute). Every day, for hours and hours, he sits with his saz and plays the same note without ever changing it. Day in and day out, Hodsha sits contentedly with his saz and quietly plays his one note. After weeks of this his wife finally approaches him and says, “Hodsha, I need to ask you something: all of the other saz players move their fingers all over their sazes, up and down, all over the place, always searching for a new note to play, but you, all you do is play that one note all day long, every day. Why don’t you do what all the other saz players do and change it?" Hodsha, lost in his music, looks up slowly without stopping to play his note, and says, "Because that note that all the other saz players are searching for? Well, I’ve found it."

Must be a fun guy to jam with... "Play it again, Hodsha!"