In the mail... Shirei Nefesh Yehuda, a disc featuring the music of Harav Yehudah Henkin, who is known as the author of Responsa Bnei Banim.
The CD features arrangements of Harav Henkin's melodies sung by Yaron Bar (excepting track 12 sung by Harav Henkin). The music is performed by Daniel Bensimien on keys and synths, with Leonid Raskin on accordion, Arik Shachar and Aryeh Naftali on guitars. Aryeh Naftali takes a turn on mandolin as well.
I've been listening to this one for a few weeks and I like it.
A project like this is all about the melodies, with the mostly electronic music playing a supporting role, and this disc delivers.
Harav Henkin has a strong sense of melody and the words and tunes fit well together. Listening to this CD, one gets a sense that the composer understands and feels the meaning of the words. Many of the melodies are set to texts that are less commonly sung like "Lama Hashem Ta'amod B'rachok... "(Tehilim 10), "Im Tashiv" (Shabbat Kiddush), as well as verses from Iyov and Esther. To me, the songs evoke Yosef Karduner by way of Uzi Hitman.
Vocalist Yaron Bar sings these melodies in a warm folksy manner without much embellishment, which is a good thing, since the tunes carry themselves. This is an enjoyable first outing, although I'd have loved to hear the songs with actual acoustic instruments.
At the moment, this CD does not yet have a distributor. If you are interested in distributing this CD, or if you'd like to obtain one, send me an email and I'll pass your information on to Harav Henkin.