Tuesday, May 05, 2009

From the mailbag... (More Rabbi Wolfson Content)

S. writes:
I really appreciated your post on R. Wolfson's article.

I see in your explanation you explained the novelty of black and white keys, but didn't really mention that the equally tempered scale of twelve notes itself is recent (late 16th century)! Possibly R. Wolfson simply meant to speak of major and minor, which are not recent, but he used an idiom that would be comprehensible to readers (everyone knows what black and white keys on a keyboard look like), however he did not mean to suggest that the keyboard goes back to Yuval. However, he is still embarassingly wrong about the antiquity of the various modes current in Western music!

I thought you might be interested in seeing an example of a rabbi who understood music, back when rabbis were not Charedim or modern, just the most learned segments of the nation, who therefore were most likely to know things and therefore wrote treatises on numerous subjects outside of the yeshivishe massechtos.

Rav Saadyah Gaon:


Chazak ve-ametz!


E. forwards a link to vocalist Shea Rubinstein's offer to perform for free: "Music Star Offers Free Performances to Charities and Nonprofit Organizations: “I Want to Give Back to Those Who Give to Many.” I'd be interested to hear what people think of this.

Yerachmiel Altizio writes:
Please promote our upcoming show on your site/blog:

Merkavah - The Hasidic Funky Jam Band w/ Shalom Pasternak's Kabbalah Dream Orchestra

Sunday, May 31 7pm, at Puppets Jazz Bar - 481 5th Avenue, Park Slope, NY 11215

$10 per set, $15 for both bands!

KDO - 7pm, and Merkavah - 8:30pm.
I'm getting to this late, but Greg Wall emails a link to a free download of Am Yisrael Chai at the Pioneers for a Cure website.

Aaron Alexander writes:
I humbly announce that May 17th shall be the day of the CD Release Concert for the new recording by the great New York klezmer band, Klezmerfest! 
The new CD will be entitled "Life of the Party!" and features great traditional klezmer standards and a couple originals by band members.
It's our sophomore release. The first one was called "Party Music", here's a little of what Ari Davidov of Klezmershack had to say about it: 
"It's solid, delightful, entirely danceable klezmer music as it has been played for generations, by musicians who are very, very good at playing it."-Ari Davidow, Klezmershack
This one features the same working band, all a little bit older and wiser (except me - I'm just a little loopier and more tired from lack of sleep!) 
Liner notes were written by the legendary Pete Sokolow!

The band is:
Aaron Alexander - drums,
Brian Glassman - bass,
Zev Zions - accordion,
Jordan Hirsch - trumpet, 
Greg Wall -  clarinet

The festivities will begin at 11am at City Winery and we'll play 'til around 2:30 or so.
KIDS are welcome! Please bring them!

City Winery 155 Varick Street (between Spring and Vandam Streets)New York, New York 10013
By Subway: 1 / 9 to Houston Street or Canal Street; C / E to Spring Street
By Bus: M20 downtown or uptown, M6 uptown, M21 crosstown
Customer Service: 212.608.0555

We hope you can make it out!
I've heard this disc and it's well-worth checking out.

There are a lot of Jewish music events upcoming in the area. Time permitting, I'll try to post a roundup. If you have a local show in the next two weeks or so, please let me know.