Tag Archives: Musicality

Passover Songs And More 5779

 

Passover Songs And More 5779 (Randyjw; April 18, 2019)

 

 

Bachatzi Halayla (Midnight Escape) – Yehudah Katz

Published on Apr 2, 2012

(https://youtu.be/u0UN_06tess?list=PL5SpPWIeTwWNr_4EOsuabEG3-7YdmU4_S)

 

 

Od Yishama (There Will Be Heard) – Shlomo Katz

Published on Apr 23, 2012

(https://youtu.be/_DbMc-xbYOQ)

 

 

(Added April 24, 2019):

Mordechai Ben David – Kumzits 1 / Shiru LaMelech

Published on Oct 27, 2015

(https://youtu.be/nCbTQZNWpns)

 

 

All About Those Plagues – Chuck Green

Published on Mar 23, 2015

(https://youtu.be/biBGKDoolCk?list=PLKfigRKHaOCiC8FTF2ZQ16TrNohxpZg5o)

 

Passover Rhapsody – A Jewish Rock Opera – aish.com

Published on Mar 27, 2012

(https://youtu.be/BRWNrk7FxG4)

 

 

Avadim Hayinu (We Were Slaves) – Yuval Grumer

Published on Apr 16, 2019

(https://youtu.be/qg21q0koFJY)

 

 

Pessach Medley with Micha Gamerman (Official Animation Video) –

Published on Apr 5, 2017

(https://youtu.be/0VeH2DARmFE)

 

 

The Passover Seder Symbols Song – runsing

Published on Apr 7, 2008

(https://youtu.be/awl1KCo_oZ0?list=PLEF01FC549202E9E1)

 

 

JEWSIC PASSOVER MUSIC VIDEO – The Jewsicgroup

Published on Apr 12, 2011

(https://youtu.be/EWG4GGmw06E)

 

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Ofir Ben Shitrit

 

Ofir Ben Shitrit (Randyjw; December 28, 2018)

 

Introducing Ofir Ben Shitrit to you (music performed and sung by female Jewish Orthodox person):

 

(https://youtu.be/EPQrWRrk26s)

 

 

Eli, Eli:

(https://youtu.be/QgEHWyQsi_k)

 

(https://youtu.be/1IR3CIhrkw0?list=PLC2Ejqlmbo1_KHSbkw5iN5LEL9pnZa2Kg)

 

Ofir Ben Shitrit – Im Ninalu:

(https://youtu.be/eY0wvCztlLA?list=PLC2Ejqlmbo1_KHSbkw5iN5LEL9pnZa2Kg)

 

 

(https://youtu.be/hSWqvnDSM7E?list=PLIEZHK9LRlqOKONrK37waNjOvOFCCOMc4)

 

(https://youtu.be/VXLpF9tLpVA?list=PLIEZHK9LRlqOKONrK37waNjOvOFCCOMc4)

 

(https://youtu.be/ZUmw–oRDig?list=PLIEZHK9LRlqOKONrK37waNjOvOFCCOMc4)

 

 

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My Share: Musical Passover

 

My Share: Musical Passover (Randyjw; April 11, 2017)

 

It’s my way to share Passover with you. Enjoy!

 

Gad Elbaz – Mah Nishtanah:

(https://youtu.be/A1rH7rYuZQE)

 

Rae Antonoff – Mah Nishtanah (this is the version I sing, but a bit faster):

(https://youtu.be/V4oSJRvw0l8)

 

Garrison Keillor / A Home Prairie Companion – A Sortof Zydeco Version of “Dayenu”:

(https://youtu.be/tFnCcZNY-Uo)

 

 

Dayenu / Hebrew, edited  (Urdu translation):

(https://youtu.be/fcqFGUh_4bg)

 

Avi Begun – Dayenu / Hebrew (this is a different song. It’s beautiful. It’s dedicated in the memories of four souls killed in the rampage of terror attacks in Toulouse, France):

(https://youtu.be/tqBeqA_gdxk)

 

Jesse Macht – A Different “Dayenu” (I really liked this guy):

(https://youtu.be/EvwxSsJryYU)

 

Pete Seeger – Dayenu:

(https://youtu.be/3FLE0nMulAI)

 

Chava Alberstein – Chad Gadya:

(https://youtu.be/DHdVYy5B6JM)

 

Chaim Parchi – Chad Gadya:

(https://youtu.be/WS9owtlUEe0)

 

Chad Gadya – Spanish and Moroccan:

(https://youtu.be/CVGnOqO9A8g)

 

Jay Levy – Chad Gadya (this is similar to the version I know):

(https://youtu.be/wnVE3pB_2Fc)

 

Eden Mi Qedem – Chad Gadya (Syrian Jewish, in Arabic):

(https://youtu.be/ed-nl2bQmC8)

 

Simcha Spot – Purple Chrein (Horseradish with Beets):

(https://youtu.be/AJZpfWE4TyY)

 

Ohad Naharin – Echad Mi Yodea (Amir Mizroch Compilation; Contains Nuclear, Jihadist, and War Scenes)

(https://youtu.be/tDio5eHks58)

 

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Randy’s Reviews – Randy’s Record Reviews: Putumayo Presents… African Odyssey

 

Randy’s Reviews – Randy’s Record Reviews: Putumayo Presents… African Odyssey (Randyjw; October 22, 2016)

 

Putumayo Presents… African Odyssey. (p) and © 2001 Putumayo World Music: 411 Lafayette, 4th Fl., New York, New York 10003 ph: (212) 625-1400; (www.putumayo.com). Barcode Reader: 790248019123; ISBN: 1587590476.

 

Another compilation disc of African music from around the region presented on an acoustic level with profundity and sophistication.

 

1. Manecas Costa – Fundu Di Matu  – Guinea-Bissau (5:30)

Portuguese-influenced song.

 

*2. Seydu – The Well – Sierra Leone (4:22)

Interesting; hard to peg; really nice. Soft, rambling xylophone and percussion, in a ’70’s, jazzy-ish style with scary punches of accent on the highs.

 

3. Les Go – Sou – Ivory Coast (3:12)

Plucky and monochromatic. Complex arrangements of overlaid vocals to simple music in offbeat rhythm.

 

*4. Oliver Mtukudzi – Raki – Zimbabwe (7:05)

Slow-moving reggae-ish sound. I like it; it grows on you, throughout, ’til you’re slo-mo bopping.

 

5. Augusto Cego – Mar – Cape Verde (5:15)

Ocean tide and Portuguese guitar in a ballad style.

 

*6. Bidinte – Kecu Minino Na Tchora – Guinea-Bissau (3:14)

I love this happy, little song with its bluesy start and scale-runs and “Junior” -like backup.

 

*7. Aura Msimang – Kulala – South Africa (4:34)

This is a really neat one with multiple influences presented in such a cool-sounding mix.

 

8. Adama Yalomba – Miri Yoro – Mali (8:24)

Steely strings and wah-wah synth combined with a low voice makes for some really weird and great stuff.

 

9. Doctor King’esi – Nipelaki Kwa Baba – Kenya (2:54)

Reminds me of some old, Israeli music.

 

10. Habib Koite’ – Sinama Denw – Mali (3:25)

Interesting notes put together in a unique minor-major way (puns always intended).

 

Starred standouts on this album include tracks: 2, 4, 6 and 7.

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Chanteuse: Smoky Set for Jazz and Piano

 

Chanteuse: Smoky Set for Jazz and Piano (Randyjw; September 2, 2016)

 

1.. I’ll Never Smile Again – Jo Stafford

https://youtu.be/aZ8COLbG5wA

 

2.. Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto

https://youtu.be/giyzx-xeLko

 

3.. Downtown – Petula Clark

(https://youtu.be/zGc2U4NE87o)

 

4.. By the Time I Get to Phoenix – Glenn Campbell

https://youtu.be/0NeHeNZkH7k

 

5.. If I Had a Hammer – Peter, Paul and Mary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKgm9ARmOMM&list=RDAKgm9ARmOMM

 

6.. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – Engelbert Humperdinck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J35KrD0t_VU&list=RDJ35KrD0t_VU

 

7.. Leaving On a Jet Plane – Peter, Paul and Mary

https://youtu.be/F9pbDeUmpnwe

 

8.. Ebb Tide – Arthur Prysock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6w58QvLn1M&list=RDI6w58QvLn1M

 

9.. The Windmills of Your Mind – Neil Diamond

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEDtJrhAkF0&list=RDdEDtJrhAkF0

 

10.. Sunny – Bobby Hebb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILEXei9rfhw&list=RDILEXei9rfhw

 

11.. La Vie en Rose – Foxtails Brigade

https://youtu.be/-NK9zdPj-os

 

12.. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

 

13.. Golden Earrings – Peggy Lee

https://youtu.be/qWnVg5eidq8

 

14.. Autumn Leaves – Frank Sinatra

https://youtu.be/zWmLw1dZSWc

 

15.. Didn’t We? – Glenn Campbell

https://youtu.be/7u4G50iBkK0

 

16.. Meditation – Foxtails Brigade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-zEidLuKYk&list=RD0-zEidLuKYk

 

17.. Les Feuilles Mortes – Yves Montand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1C6E7jbPw&list=RDXo1C6E7jbPw

 

18.. Qualche Stupido Ti Amo (Italian) – Andrea Bocelli and Veronica Berti

(https://youtu.be/C6SmJrY3ajQ)

 

 

Or:

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You (English) – Frank and Nancy Sinatra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meQUdezfMhk&list=RDmeQUdezfMhk

 

19.. The Very Thought of You – Engelbert Humperdinck

(https://youtu.be/kZObg76lHjg)

 

20.. Senza Fine – Peggy Lee

https://youtu.be/7GzEGMJnOfw

 

21.. Those Were the Days – Mary Hopkin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUsmEcJSdzc&list=RDZUsmEcJSdzc

 

 

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Vaya Con Dios: Songs As You Fly to Spain

 

Vaya Con Dios: Songs As You Fly to Spain (Randyjw; August 31, 2016)

 

Songs of Spain, by Spain, about Spain. A look at how an interpretation of various associations of the meanings inherent in one culture are borne out or portrayed in another. Romantic. Occasionally embattled. Viewed with another lens.

 

Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King

(https://youtu.be/KsOfV0tuQv0)

 

Spanish Eyes – Elvis Presley:

(https://youtu.be/9M4EvuE99Ok)

 

The Clash – Spanish Bombs:

(https://youtu.be/CEVVN9pS7OI)

 

Three Dog Night – Never Been to Spain:

(https://youtu.be/dm6qw_yeo6o)

 

The Rain in Spain – The Civic Theater in Auckland (2009 production):

(https://youtu.be/3bSK68WCrRk)

 

Vox Vulgaris – Spanish Bombs:

(https://youtu.be/iEVmyruTfxo)

 

Vaya Con Dios – Les Paul and Mary Ford:

(https://youtu.be/MaqjsIWRa5Q)

 

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Lazer Focus

 

Lazer Focus (Randyjw; April 30, 2016)

 

We often find our highest forms of expression in music. Bridging language barriers, it spans the divide to reach into our souls and to bring forward our humanity.

 

For years, music lyrics were often the first means used to broadcast the cultural mores represented within our society — the ones which our youths would most often like to see changed!

 

So, “message music” became a popular way to start a popular movement of the masses in protest of the ways society was presently operating. Folk music of the 1960’s and 1970’s expressed a subset of society’s displeasure of our war efforts in VietNam and toward authority, in general. Because radio reached a broad audience, the influence of mass communication became palpable, though often overstated (Many people still don’t realize that the “loud” voice that the mass media displays neither makes it, necessarily, the popular, nor the majority, opinion).

 

In any case, the modes and methods of the message delivery system may have changed, but the basic precept is still there, and always will be. People need to be heard. They need to feel that they are important, and that their opinions matter. They are the clarion call to wake us up to our mistakes and to correct our actions, before it becomes too late.

 

One such man, with important things to say, is Lazer Lloyd. He is a blues musician with a prescient message, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum. His latest release, “America”, puts together all the shortfalls we could express about this great nation, while still acknowledging that this is a good land, overall. The beauty in the fretwork, and the wording of the sentiments, express what I would’ve also brought up in past wrongs America has committed. On a personal level, to those we’ve hurt, or to those I might have hurt, as well, I would add, “I’m sorry”. This song was touching and I have to admit that I cried while listening to it. Please visit YouTube and click the black arrow in the white portion of the YouTube song identification area to see the lyrics while viewing the song video.

 

“The Bomb Shelter Blues” addresses the realities of being expected to live under the insane conditions imposed upon us in Israel, while others who have the power to stop and change this warring against us hypocritically do nothing and, instead, condemn those upon whom the bombs and rockets fall. I particularly like the message revealed when you click the black YouTube arrow at YouTube.

 

Giving away the surprise, “Back Porch” feels like a really great Indian-style instrumental piece, but simple lyrics about serving G-d find their way between the meditational meanderings of the acoustic arrangement. I really like this piece.

 

“Eye of the Storm” is a really good “L-rd Have Mercy” plaint, plain and simple. Hear the sample, below.

 

“New Year’s Blues (Tears For Dikla)” is a really mellow, really wonderful blues tune to chill out to. I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s on YouTube, for those who don’t have Facebook.

 

Here social justice in action via the Jewish voice (our concept of repairing the world, in Hebrew, called “tikkun olam” and via righteous works, called “tzedakah”, or “charity”, is prevalent as a precept in our traditions). Here a sampling of this in a YouTube link to Lazer Lloyd’s “Eye of the Storm”:

 

Eye of the Storm:

(https://youtu.be/CGlODsUCioU)

 

“Lazer Lloyd”, the album by Lazer Lloyd, was the Number Three Blues-Rock Album of 2015 (RMR). He also had the number two Blues-Rock song and the number six Blues-Rock song for the year, as well. His song, “New Years Blues (Tears For Dikla)” received over 3.1 million views on Facebook, was shared more than 33,000 times, and generated more than 14,000 comments.

 

Lazer Lloyd is now on tour. See his official website to verify dates, times, locations, updates and additions to the touring schedule – Go to: (http://lazerlloyd.com/)

 

Pennsylvania:

Erie – 04/30/2016 – Erie Harley/9:30

New York:

Buffalo – 05/01/2016 – DHU Strand Theater/7:30

Ohio:

New Lima – 05/02/2016 – RSVP for Location/6:00

Columbus – 06/01/2016 – Woodlands Tavern/7:30

Illinois:

Decatur – 05/22/2016 – Pop’s Place/3:00 – 6:00

Springfield – 05/23/2016 – Alamo/8:00

Kankakee – 05/24/2016 – Moose Hall/8:00

Chicago – 05/26/2016 – Buddy Guy’s Legends/9:00

Berwyn – 05/29/2016 – Fitzgerald’s/9:00

Indiana:

Griffith – 05/25/2016 – Wildrose Brewing Co./7:00

Wisconsin:

Silver Lake – 05/28/2016 – Benders/9:45

Michigan:

Petoskey – 05/30/2016 – Crooked Tree

Arts/6:00

Grand Rapids – 05/31/2016 – Open Source Studios/7:30

Indiana:

Indianapolis – 06/02/2016 – Slippery Noodle/8:30

Missouri:

St. Louis – 06/04/2016 – Beale on Broadway/10:30

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Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions (CD)

 

Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions (CD)

2009; Produced by Bela Fleck Productions Inc. Under exclusive license to Rounder Records. (http://www.rounder.com/); info@rounder.com

 

1. Tulinesangala – Uganda (2:50)

Nakisenyi Women’s Group

Chanting, clapping

 

2. Kinetsa – Madagascar (4:16)

D’Gary

Really cool. Appalachian banjo-like sounds. Reminiscent of a familiar song I can’t figure out. Violin.

 

3. Ah Ndiya – Mali (3:49)

Oumou Sangore

Bluesy start, progressing into Chinese/Arabic/funk-like stuff. Cutting woman’s voice.

 

4. Kabibi – Tanzania (2:30)

Anania Ngoglia

Woah… crazy-jazziness sounding like Elmo — No, not St. Elmo’s fire, but Elmo from Sesame Street! With xylophone-like accompaniment providing Caribbean island sounds and vocal runs up and down the scales (even they laugh at the end).

 

5. Angelina – Uganda (2:51)

Luo Cultural Association

Rambling safari-like trek with interplaying percussionist pluckings running around in the background. High-pitched ululations sound like human mosquitoes!

 

6. D’Gary Jam – Madagascar, Uganda, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon (6:15)

D’Gary, Oumou Sangare, Richatd Bona, Baba Maal, Vusi Mahlasela, Afel Bocum, Anania Ngoglia, Toumani Diabate and Friends

I figured I’d find Toumani Diabate on this compilation… I was indeed actively searching for another great production from him. This one is like a nightmare, but intriguing. You can’t stop listening, even though everyone is going off in their own directions, doing their own things. Strangely, it all blends together in a scary, compelling way.

 

7. Throw Down Your Heart – Mali (5:07)

Haruna Sumake Trio and Bassekou Kouyate

This soft instrumental sounds more like an Ali Farka Toure/Toumani Diabate collaboration, the kind I was hoping to find. Also Jethro Tull tune toward the end.

 

8. Thula Mama – South Africa (3:59)

Vusi Mahlasela

A little bit of bebop in an African vibe with English subtitles.

 

9. Wairenziante – Uganda (2:55)

Muwewesu Xylophone Group

Having once or twice picked up a pair of mallets, I can appreciate the xylophone/marimba dexterity exhibited here.

 

10. Bunibalal – Mali (4:32)

Afel Bocum

A standout of a song. Soft male voice, Japanese/Arabic intro, Irish-tinged, totally African.

 

11. Zawose – Tanzania (3:20)

Chibite – The Zawose Family

How can people make such sounds? And offbeat, too? By true musicianship and artistry. This one’s a trip.

 

12. Ajula/Mbamba – The Gambia (4:31)

The Jatta Family

Quick tempo, probably what many Western minds would automatically associate to African music.

 

13. Pakugyenda Balebauo – Tanzania (2:58)

Warema Masiaga Cha Cha

E.T. went to Africa, instead. Neat question-answer format with kazoo/didgeridoo loose-stringed backup.

 

14. Jesus Is The Only Answer – Uganda (3:24)

Ateso Jazz Band

I love this one so much. So happy and uplifting. Upper register music and vocals. You’ll be smiling with this one!

 

15. Matitu – Tanzania (4:19)

Khalifan Matitu

Xylophone only, building up with background stuff sounding like a rainfall in a dense, tropical forest.

 

16. Mariam – Mali (3:51)

Djelimady Tounkara

I don’t know if I know what this song wants to be. It just is what it is — Ole’!

 

17. Djorolen – Mali (5:04)

Oumou Sangare

Delta meets Asio-Africa in rather soulful ballad. Love it.

 

18. Dunia Haina Wema/Thumb Fun – Tanzania (7:13)

Anania Ngoglia

Find myself not sure if I like it, yet enthusiastically starring it, just as well. Obvious mastery of the musical instruments, as well as the vocal chords echoing additional instruments. Sounds like you’re privileged to listen in on a jam going on.

 

———————————————————————–

 

This album started as an idea, when Bela Fleck heard the sounds of African music coming from the computer of his musicians on the tour bus. Enjoying what he heard, he decided to investigate the origins of his preferred instrument, the banjo, in West Africa, engaging Sony to underwrite the affair. After the tickets were booked, the field engineers reserved, the details and logistics arranged… Sony backed out.

 

So much had already been riding on this venture. With everything in place, Bela couldn’t let everyone down. Not only is he a folk hero in pioneering banjo music and styles, he turned folk hero in helping his fellow musicians continue with the job for this project. He hired his half-brother, Sascha Palladino, putting the venture to visuals in a documentary release now available through Netflix, or via purchase at New Video, a part of Cinedigm Entertainment:

 

(http://www.newvideo.com/)

DVD Cat: NNVG158461

DVD UPC: 7-67685-15846-3

SRP: $26.95

DIGITAL CAT: NNVG1839

 

The album won two 2009 Grammy® awards for Best Contemporary World Music Album and Best Pop Instrumental Album. Standout tracks on this African collaboration include numbers 10, 14 and 17, as well as number 18.

 

He’s now on tour in North America, with the following states and dates – For more details and to purchase tickets, visit his friendly website at: (http://belafleck.com/shows/)

 

INDIVIDUAL VENUES:

with Louisville Symphony Orchestra: KY – 04/30/2016

with The Flecktones: IL, MO, NC, NH, OH, PA, VT – June

with Abigail Washburn: AK – May; UT, CO – July

 

FESTIVALS:

Colorado:

Telluride Bluegrass Festival with The Flecktones – 06/16/2016

Telluride Bluegrass Festival All-Star Jam – 06/19/2016

Rocky Grass Festival with Abigail Washburn – 07/30/2016

District of Columbia:

American Acoustic with Chris Thile – 06/24/2016

North Carolina:

Brevard Music Festival – 06/28/2016

Wisconsin:

Blue Ox Music Festival with The Flecktones – 06/11/2016

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Yiddish Folksongs: Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest (CD)

 

Yiddish Folksongs: Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest (CD)

 

Conductor: Chajim Schwartzmann; International Passport; Laserlight Digital 15 185. (p) 1990 Delta Music Inc., Los Angeles, CA, 90064. © 2002 Delta Entertainment Corporation; 1663 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90025. Laserlight Digital is a registered trademark of Delta Entertainment Corporation. According to Wikipedia.org (accessed April 11, 2016), the company filed for a reorganization under Chapter 11, and decided by mid-2008 upon liquidation, including the sale of 170 music licenses. The dust jacket website for Delta Entertainment didn’t come up in my search, but, instead, I found this very interesting website from the digital library at the University of Pennsylvania, listing extensive notes corresponding to the album and CD, including transliterations of the Yiddish, and other unique information:

(http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/freedman/lookupalbum?catlg=B-051(a))

 

Wow, does this take one to another era. It’s a good thing, too, because nobody’s culture should be systematically eliminated, as the Germans tried to do to the Jews by barring their participation in the arts in Germany during various phases in their history, but especially during the Nazi regime, leading to the murder of six million Jews.

 

Each song represents the European settlement period following our expulsion from Spain, ordered by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Heading East across Europe, we settled mainly in the areas of Germany and Poland (Russia would do the same, transferring us to a slim area of its territory called the Pale of Settlement, essentially the first Jewish ghetto).

 

Generally blessed with a sardonic sense of humor and optimism, we infused our song during this period with appropriate emotion reflective of our inner drive to rise above our situations. And yes, despite the worst, we have.

 

  1. A Ngindl (2:49) – female
  2. Gei ich mir spazim (1:48) – female
  3. Leig ich mir mein kepale (3:05) – female
  4. Iamce ram ciam (1:35) – man / Really good
  5. Di Mame is gegangn (2:27) – female
  6. Inter a klein Beimale – male
  7. Di Warnicikes – female / I hear something about “schmaltz” (fat) in this
  8. Ein mul ti ich si banaien (2:42) – male
  9. Lomir singen ciri bim, ciri bom (2:43) – male and female
  10. Wus dergeisti mir di lurn (3:22) – male and female
  11. Oi Awram (1:16) – female
  12. Di Mame kocht Warenikes (1:43) – male
  13. Mamaniu, liubeniu (3:53) – female / The best “Oy!” at the end
  14. Mit a Nudl un a Nudl (2:17) – male
  15. Asoj wie-s is bitter (2:40) – female
  16. Bin ich mir a Schneiderl (1:25) – male / Good representation of humor and emotion, like Italian
  17. Meheteineste meine (2:29) – female
  18. Wus-je wilsti? (2:13) – male and female

 

Singers:

1, 7: Rochele Schapira

2, 3, 5: Nuscha Grupp-Stoian

11, 13, 17: Leonie Waldmann-Eliad

4, 14: Dorian Livianu

6, 9, 10, 18: Bebe Bercovici

8, 12, 16: Carol Marcovici

9, 10, 15, 18: Trici Abramovici

 

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Dust to Gold (CD)

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Dust to Gold (CD)

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party (p) © 2000 Real World Records Ltd. Licensed exclusively to, and manufactured and distributed by: Narada Productions Inc., 4650 N. Port Washington Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53212. All tracks published by Womad Music Ltd./EMI Virgin Music Ltd. The dust jacket website reference doesn’t fully connect, so please see Real World Records for info: (https://realworldrecords.com/artist/458/nusrat-fateh-ali-khan/)

 

The liner notes say that Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s hometown was Lahore, Pakistan. It becomes complicated, as much like Israel (known then as “Palestine”) had been partitioned to carve an Arab state from its midsts (known as “Jordan”), so, too, had India been partitioned to carve a Muslim state from its midsts, known as Pakistan (not to mention that India had first fallen under Colonial occupation and rule by the British). According to Wikipedia.org (accessed April 10, 2016 and applicable to the rest of this information): (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusrat_Fateh_Ali_Khan), the ancestral Khan household was situated, prior to Partition, at Basti Sheikh, in the city of Jalandhar, East Punjab, British India (now in Punjab, India).

 

Ali-Khan was born, after Partition, on October 13, 1948, and grew up, then, in central Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan, finding early affinity in the family tradition of Sufi devotional music, known as Qawwali. He ascended to leadership of his family Qawwali party upon the deaths of his father, and afterwards, also, an Uncle, and gave his first public performance, via a studio broadcast recording, during the annual music festival known as Jashn-e-Baharan, arranged by Radio Pakistan.

 

He only lived to age 48, expiring of a heart attack in London, England on August 17, 1997, awaiting a kidney transplant, due to renal failure.

 

His music has garnered multi-national awards, and he is known as a pioneering force in world music. He partners with Ofra Haza in the song “Forgiveness”. While I can only recall his utterance in this mostly instrumental song as a singular one, it is, nevertheless, a good one. Both he and Ofra solely, and soulfully, wail, using their voices non-lyrically as instruments.

 

I had not, yet, discovered his rendering in “Forgiveness” prior to hearing this “Dust to Gold” CD, and so my opinions were proferred as a neophyte to his music. Had it been the reverse, perhaps I would have heard him in a more-flattering context; as it were, I did not. Frankly, I feel that this music is a fail. Much as the failed process of alchemy whereby the synthesization of precious metals, like gold, is attempted to be created through dust or other materials, the synthesization from “Dust to Gold” in this music, simply put, doesn’t work.

 

  1. Khawaja Tum Hi Ho (Master It Is Only You) (Rajasthani Hindi) 15:44 – The inside jacket explains that this song, sung in a female persona in the classical style, praises a Sufi saint. I find it an annoying semblance of a screaming, dying cat.
  2. DATA Teira Durbur (Master In Your Court) (Urdu) 16:21 – This song also praises a Sufi saint, and may be even more annoying than the first. Oy!
  3. Koi Hai Na Ho Ga (There Was No-One, There Will Not Be Anyone) (Urdu) 15:08 – Apparently not. This song praises the Islamic “Prophet”, and has a more familiar tune. Interestingly, it mentions Aksa mosque (Jerusalem), but makes no mention of the Dome of the Rock (Al-Aksa is the small, silver mosque on the Temple Mount; the Dome of the Rock, the familiar representation of Islam in Israel, is not actually a mosque).
  4. Noor-E Khuda Hai Husn-E-Sarapa Rasool (The Light of G-d is the Embodiment of the [Islamic] “Prophet”) (Urdu) 17:09 – Praises the Islamic “Prophet”. Also more familiar; almost hypnotic.

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Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, and Chubby Checker Sing Jewish/Jewish-Themed Songs

 

I have one post dedicated to Jewish/Israeli song artists called “Shema Yisrael”, and another dedicated to the familiar songs of my youth and upbringing here in America, called “American Culture In Music”.  “American Culture In Music” contains many songs in many languages, reflecting the diversity and melting pot which is America. Jewish songs were a part of my youth, but did not receive as broad a recognition in American culture as the rest of the type of songs represented “American Culture In Music”.

 

It is interesting to see how individual cultures adapt to their newfound societies, combining their old traditions with the new. It is an educational experience to look at a review, from the future, back to the past, to see how it’s developed, integrated, and been influenced by the melding of different cultures within societies. While many people can probably sing “Havah Nagilah” and many of the tunes written for the film adaptation of Shalom Aleichem’s novel based on the reality of life for the Jews during Russian pogroms against them, via the popular movie musical, “Fiddler On The Roof” (for which I played the part of ‘Hodel’ in a grade school musical presentation), other artists’ renditions of some of these songs deserve a posting set aside and apart from both these lists for the special classifications or designations into which these fall. Two such are those by Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, and Chubby Checker. It shows a blending of cultures in the performances of one through the songs and representative styles of the other.

 

Here they are singing one of my newest favorite songs, ‘Erev Shel Shoshanim’, and several renditions (live and on studio albums) captured via film and video, or pressed into vinyl, of Harry Belafonte’s versions of: “Havah Nagilah” and “Hineh Mah Tov”. I hope you enjoy their versions of these Jewish songs, and this informational, educational look at cultures of American society through song:

 

Erev Shel Shoshanim:

Harry Belafonte:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5nYc26rEGo&list=RDc5nYc26rEGo)

 

Erev Shel Shoshanim:

Miriam Makeba:

(https://youtu.be/gP0OuRVzpw0)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Hineh Mah Tov (1960; Concert: England):

(https://youtu.be/RCzUWap9rm0)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Hineh Mah Tov (Album: Return to Carnegie Hall):

(https://youtu.be/LwLtzxkgfV0)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Noah:

(https://youtu.be/1dG7QI3L5tI)

 

Chubby Checker [Added September 28, 2019]:

Havah Nagilah

(https://youtu.be/McKBRGeU1hM?list=PLzb6Bc1k2vUaebYV9sDxE_TBKl2sAWF7U)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Havah Nagilah (Album: At Carnegie Hall: The Complete Concert):

(https://youtu.be/KTCmKmofaKA)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Havah Nagilah (Harry Belafonte From Jamaica: Calypso):

(https://youtu.be/kVxAb97XyZM)

 

Harry Belafonte:

Havah Nagilah (TV: The Danny Kaye Show; with Danny Kaye):

(https://youtu.be/t_L1RAVm4js)

 

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American Culture In Music

Created: Approximately March 2, 2016

Updated: January 10, 2017 – Third-party video availability subject to change.

 

These songs featured prominently in my childhood, growing up in America during the 60’s and 70’s, the era from which most of this music originated. It also includes the songs, which became favorites, from the generation of my parents, and the sentimental oldies even they listened to. There’s no way to describe the eras of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, drenched in emotionalism, unless you re-experienced them through performance media, such as recordings and film. Yep — they don’t make ’em like they used to. The same can be said for the hoppin’ 50’s, caught between the innocence of varsity sweaters and poodle skirts, and the greasers, the vehicle-centric realm of cruisers and cars. From the psychedelic, peace activism and rock-band explosions on the British and American scenes of the 60’s, to the carefree soft-rock sounds of the 70’s, this music each relays the sounds of its decade like no other really can. The decades continue on, in the heyday disco days of the eighties, turning into punk rock, and then the indy and grunge rock scene of the nineties. The following two decades saw trance, electronic dance, more diversity and closer fusions of all things, everywhere. This is it’s story, told only from the perspective of my own growing-up years, as only my story could tell; the rest has to be told by you. This is an aural educational journey to take a look back through time and place, sound and space, as no other school could teach, except by personally experiencing it for yourself. And this is to its purpose — alone.

 

I hope you enjoy these classics as much as I do.

 

A Lover’s Concerto:

The Toys; Original:

(https://youtu.be/FmJ1AqtTuyo)

 

 

A Lover’s Concerto:

Kelly Chen:

(https://youtu.be/HeyocZdBVE4)

 

 

Afternoon Delight:

Starland Vocal Band:

(https://youtu.be/UDeCdqfwmY4)

 

 

Age of Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In:

The 5th Dimension:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjxSCAalsBE&list=RDkjxSCAalsBE)

 

 

Ain’t No Sunshine:

Bill Withers:

(https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao)

 

 

Autumn Leaves:

Frank Sinatra:

(https://youtu.be/zWmLw1dZSWc)

 

 

Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes (French):

Yves Montand:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo1C6E7jbPw&list=RDXo1C6E7jbPw)

 

 

Black and White: * Unavailable

Three Dog Night:

(https://youtu.be/4f65mO146Zo)

 

 

By The Time I Get To Phoenix:

Glenn Campbell; Original; 45RPM; Mono:

(https://youtu.be/0NeHeNZkH7k)

 

 

California Dreamin’:

The Mamas And The Papas:

(https://youtu.be/dN3GbF9Bx6E)

 

 

Chloe (The Swamp Song): * Unavailable

George Probert:

(https://youtu.be/gitlVdy1088)

 

 

Chloe (The Swamp Song): * Unavailable

Grand Dominion Jazz Band:

(https://youtu.be/sqbOEFEkFE4)

 

 

Dancing Queen:

ABBA:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYSSD0SVhN0&list=RDXYSSD0SVhN0)

 

 

Didn’t We?:

Glenn Campbell:

(https://youtu.be/7u4G50iBkK0)

 

 

Do You Know The Way To San Jose?:

Dionne Warwick:

(https://youtu.be/jqWt49o7R-k)

 

 

Downtown:

Petula Clark:

(https://youtu.be/l60S18sG3_U)

 

 

Ebb Tide:

Arthur Prysock:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6w58QvLn1M&list=RDI6w58QvLn1M)

 

 

Everybody’s Talkin’:

Harry Nilsson:

(https://youtu.be/2AzEY6ZqkuE)

 

 

This Land Is Mine (Exodus, The Theme From) (Lyrics):

Andy Williams:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTqMs58mMwU&list=RDqTqMs58mMwU)

 

 

Exodus (, The Theme From) (Instrumental):

Ernest Gold:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT3-mOHqva8&list=RDcT3-mOHqva8)

 

 

Galveston:

Glenn Campbell:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTbTHlTmDX8&list=RDZTbTHlTmDX8)

 

 

Georgie Girl: * Unavailable

The Seekers:

(https://youtu.be/wslbfYEizLk)

 

 

Girl From Ipanema:

Astrud Gilberto:

(https://youtu.be/giyzx-xeLko)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

Danny Purches:

(https://youtu.be/2H-ku8NvZeM)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

Peggy Lee:

(https://youtu.be/qWnVg5eidq8)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

David Neal:

(https://youtu.be/OKAneOuDS6A)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

Fabulous Hollywood!

The Hollywood Sounds of

Frank DeVol and His Orchestra:

(https://youtu.be/iphOePrFnqI)

 

 

Going Out Of My Head:

Little Anthony And The Imperials:

(https://youtu.be/Kq204wG8UfA)

 

 

Golden Earrings: * Unavailable

Tamra Rosanes:

(https://youtu.be/AXDwGJl97eU)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

The Clebanoff Strings and Percussion (?)

The Golden Age of Light Orchestras:

100 Great American Light Orchestras;

Volume One:

(https://youtu.be/GSKrgZjwTU8)

 

 

Golden Earrings:

Tanya Karamanos – Violin and Musicians:

(https://youtu.be/1iV4C9oSK0Y)

 

 

Guantanamera: Various Artists;

Original Music By Jose Fernandez Diaz;

Based On A Poem By Jose Marti –

 

Guantanamera:

Huecco, et. al; Traducao Portugues:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPtB6NXiz1g&list=RDVPtB6NXizg)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Dennis Greenwood; English; Lyrics:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJt_q3_ROf0&list=RDwJt_q3_ROf0)

 

 

Guantanamera: * Unavailable

Nana Mouskouri; French:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIjSPFgQl00&list=RDuIjSPFgQl00)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Joe Dassin; French:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YeaKaAwbsM&list=RD5YeaKaAwbsM)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Lucrecia with Andy Garcia; Spanish:

(https://youtu.be/zf9iDO8WwMk)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Compay Segundo; Spanish:

(https://youtu.be/9QO4aegj-jA)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Jose Feliciano; Spanish:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmyQOq4MAdY&list=RDlmyQOq4MAdY)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Julio Iglesias; Spanish:

(https://youtu.be/ikVNjQApJ4A)

 

 

Guantanamera Twist and Shout:

The Mavericks; Tarrytown;

November 1, 2014; Spanish:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcUVTjGzwsU&list=RDtcUVTjGzwsU)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Compay Segundo with Lucrecia and Joseito Fernandez and Famous Singers; Spanish:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwY4wkQXtz0&list=RDuwY4wkQXtz0)

 

 

Guantanamera: * Unavailable

Julio Iglesias and Nana Mouskori; French:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJAW9oHAXU&list=RDZSJAW9oHAXU)

 

 

Guantanamera:

ABBA; Spanish:

(https://youtu.be/jg6CscmG6-8)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Luciano Pavarotti, Celia Cruz and Jarabe De Palo; For Afghanistan; Spanish:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvQR_OcNG8w&list=RDAvQR_OcNG8w)

 

 

Guantanamera:

Helmut Lotti; Spanish:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB0VSOrNhJ8&list=RDuB0VSOrNhJ8)

 

 

Guantanamera: * Unavailable

TheGuitarNick (Learn Fingerstyle + TAB; http://www.GuitarNick.com):

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDSv-hGfzI9-0&list=RDRDSv-hGfzI9-0)

 

 

Harper Valley PTA:

Jeannie C. Riley:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOZPBUu7Fro&list=RDaOZPBUu7Fro)

 

 

Here Comes The Sun:

The Beatles:

(https://youtu.be/2tO3835ZGSo)

 

 

Honey: * Unavailable

Bobby Goldsboro:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYZE7QQa1Z4&list=RDZYZE7QQa1Z4)

 

 

If I Had A Hammer:

Peter, Paul and Mary (Live):

(Civil Rights March; Washington, D.C.; 1963):

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKgm9ARmOMM&list=RDAKgm9ARmOMM)

 

 

If You’re Going To San Francisco (Lyrics):

Scott McKenzie:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EskS_SoGqww&list=RDEskS_SoGqww)

 

 

I’ll Never Smile Again:

Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers:

(https://youtu.be/kEPnhszmKuo)

 

 

I’ll Never Smile Again:

Jo Stafford:

(https://youtu.be/aZ8COLbG5wA)

 

 

In The Mood:

Glenn Miller:

(https://youtu.be/c2aqHGaSxRI)

 

 

In The Mood:

Glenn Miller:

(https://youtu.be/xPXwkWVEIIw)

 

 

Joy To The World:

Three Dog Night:

(https://youtu.be/xsa6txKXb3w)

 

 

La Vie En Rose*:

Foxtails Brigade:

(https://youtu.be/-NK9zdPj-os)

 

 

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane:

Peter, Paul and Mary:

(https://youtu.be/F9pbDeUmpnwe)

 

 

Lost In Love:

Air Supply:

(https://youtu.be/3G4nyXNleq0)

 

 

Massachusetts: * Unavailable

The Bee Gees:

(https://youtu.be/f4JlL10lgXs)

 

 

Meditation:

Foxtails Brigade:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-zEidLuKYk&list=RD0-zEidLuKYk)

 

 

Message To Michael:

Dionne Warwick:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f3WPBREdjo&list=RD9f3WPBREdjo)

 

 

My Sweet Lord:

George Harrison:

(https://youtu.be/0kNGnIKUdMI)

 

 

Never On Sunday:

Sirtaki (?) / Stevan Vagner (Post):

(https://youtu.be/GI9MIOpyOVA)

 

 

Norwegian Wood:

The Beatles:

(https://youtu.be/VPsEYpvnnRA)

 

 

One Less Bell To Answer:

The 5th Dimension:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZcA3kiaQb0&list=RD9ZcA3kiaQb0)

 

 

One Toke Over The Line: * Unavailable

Brewer and Shipley:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNKL9onYB_8&list=RDMNKL9onYB_8)

 

 

One Toke Over The Line:

Brewer and Shipley:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVxA1MkEkyo&list=RDgVxA1MkEkyo)

 

 

Puff The Magic Dragon:

Peter, Paul and Mary:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FnMmuFaguc&list=RD9FnMmuFaguc)

 

 

Put Your Hand In The Hand:

Elvis Presley (Concert):

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nkp_t2RUaA&list=RD6Nkp_t2RUaA)

 

 

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You*:

Edgar Ramirez; Jennifer Lawrence:

Excerpt from JOY – Twentieth Century Fox:

(https://youtu.be/QswAZPumAwk)

 

 

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You:

Frank and Nancy Sinatra:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meQUdezfMhk&list=RDmeQUdezfMhk)

 

 

Qualche Stupido Ti Amo / Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You:

Andrea Bocelli and Veronica Berti:

(https://youtu.be/yzyEsiivVD0)

 

 

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You:

Robbie Williams; Nicole Kidman:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtrXxgtYGUw&list=RDrtrXxgtYGUw)

 

 

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You:

Ilias Michailakis and Christine:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GauYVx4oS8&list=RD0GauYVx4oS8)

 

 

Saying Something Stupid Like I Love You:

Priscilla and Nico:

(https://youtu.be/-4lBQs7ISMI)

 

 

Seasons In The Sun:

Terry Jacks:

(https://youtu.be/9E_IBciZoP4)

 

 

Senza Fine*: * Unavailable

Andrea Bocelli (Concert):

(https://youtu.be/QqCmC-7QUoA)

 

 

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay:

Otis Redding:

(https://youtu.be/rTVjnBo96Ug)

 

 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes:

Engelbert Humperdinck

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J35KrD0t_VU&list=RDJ35KrD0t_VU)

 

 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes:

Nana Mouskouri:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNQVhSYvKkw&list=RDsNQVhSYvKkw)

 

 

Somewhere/One Hand, One Heart/I Have A Love:

Barbra Streisand/Johnny Matthis:

(https://youtu.be/OZAHNH2FT90)

 

 

Sunny:

Bobby Hebb:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILEXei9rfhw&list=RDILEXei9rfhw)

 

 

Sunny:

Bobby Hebb and Ron Carter:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRWyxzmNdJc&list=RDuRWyxzmNdJc)

 

 

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down:

Joan Baez:

(https://youtu.be/C_ksYL26lZE)

 

 

The Very Thought Of You:

Engelbert Humperdinck

(https://youtu.be/5E1ugy_-ogQ)

 

 

The Very Thought Of You:

Nat King Cole:

(https://youtu.be/tOaWJu8Wuj0)

 

 

The Windmills Of My Mind:

Neil Diamond:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEDtJrhAkF0&list=RDdEDtJrhAkF0)

 

 

These Boots Were Made For Walkin’:

Nancy Sinatra (Lyrics) / * Decided to delete

(Looks like a personal video message; Sorry ’bout that, but it seemed to have the best sound quality):

 

 

Those Were The Days:

Mary Hopkins:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUsmEcJSdzc&list=RDZUsmEcJSdzc)

 

 

Up, Up And Away:

The 5th Dimension:

(https://youtu.be/5akEgsZSfhg)

 

 

When Will I See You Again:

Three Degrees:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUSYj5zq144&list=RDHUSYj5zq144)

 

Wichita Lineman:

Glenn Campbell:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJBvdEBpHE8&list=RDTJBvdEBpHE)

 

 

Wichita Lineman:

Glenn Campbell; Concert Footage, 2006:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E80727OUUDI&list=RDE80727OUUDI)

 

 

Yellow Bird:

The Kingston Trio:

(https://youtu.be/bIC7hmSMq54)

 

 

Yellow Bird:

Johnny Tillotson:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0d6jFSYEzo&list=RDy0d6jFSYEzo)

 

 

Yellow Bird:

The Brothers Four:

(https://youtu.be/RdvUm-CJhVc)

 

———————————————————————-

* Andrea Bocelli sings these on his David Foster-produced PBS special, “Love In Portofino”.

 

These pressings and video clips showcase the sound of the times as represented by its diverse people — the legacy of our pride, and were the discs that were spun in broadcast studios, dance halls, and homes across America. It was a time of discovery, mergence, and awakening; carefree, yet still cognizant and concerned. A movement of unity was beginning in quietude and celebration. These were the days.

 

Thank you to all the artists and to those who support them, both out-loud and in quiet, as well as to those who can only hint their approval. Your voices will all be heard, one day.

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Anthology of World Music: The Music of Afghanistan

 

Anthology of World Music: The Music of Afghanistan; (p) International Institute for Traditional Music (Berlin). Originally issued as the UNESCO collection. Original Fifty Albums of Anthology of Traditional Music of the World, published by Barenreiter Verlag/Musicaphon. © 2003 Rounder Records Corp.; One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA, 02140. (http://www.rounder.com/) email: (info@rounder.com) Rounder-82161-5121-2. Commentary by Professor Alain Danielou (1902-1994). Edited for the International Music Council by the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation (Founder, and first Director, Professor Alain Danielou). Succeeding Prof. Danielou was Professor Ivan Vandor.

The dust-jacket of this c.d. notes the many influential elements of the countries surrounding Afghanistan upon its music, including ancient forms of Greek, Iranian, Turkish, Indian, Russian, Roma folk music, and even stylings resembling those of the European Middle Ages! It’s no wonder, considering that Afghanistan is situated almost at the juncture of where these civilizations meet.

Some of the instruments used in these recordings include: versions of a Lute, known to them as: Tumbur (plucked); Dambura (two-string); Dotar (three-string); Bowed Instruments: Ritchak (popular in the North); Sarinda (popular in the South); Drums: Dhol (two-sided); Zer-Berhali (one-sided); Doirah (tambourine); Sornai (oboe; found in tombs of Sumer; “Sahnai,” in India); Tula (flute); Cheng (called a “Jew’s Harp” and said to be known all over the Orient).

In totality, this is a very nice sampling of Afghan (Afghani) music.

  1. Song of Kataran (Turkestan) (4:49): Oldish, chanty, based on a few notes which makes it mildly hypnotic. Makes me think of what might be the sound of northern India, except on a lower voice range, mixed so because it headed west.
  2. Song of Badarshan (3:06): Sounds like a regal, Renaissance processional march, conducted in the outer courtyards of perhaps a Persian or Turkish ruler.
  3. Melody for Flute from Turkestan (2:40): Really interesting, small flute adds to its trill-like characteristics.
  4. Festive Music from Chardi (in the region of Kabul) (3:53): Somehow, what seems to be like a major tune-up session for the horn section in the orchestral pit emerges to several thematic tunes. This mish-mash works.
  5. Chant from Azarejot (Central Afghanistan) (5:40): Rolling music sounds great and is suddenly punctuated by discordant vocals. Startling, at first, it immediately settles in and blends together in a very nice, almost African-style sound.
  6. National Afghan Dance (Shah Mast) (1:55): Sounds like they’re playing giant rubber bands in the National Afghan Dance.
  7. Chant from Farkhar (4:48): This one sounds more typically Arabic to me, though it’s sung in “Persian” and is said to be in the Greek genre familiar in Persian, Arabic, and Greek music.
  8. Village Dance Melody (of the region of Kabul) (1:59): Soft with drums predominant and balailaika-reminiscent banjo-like strumming.
  9. Pushtu Quatrain (Charbait) (4:15): Familiar Greek-like style found in Arab refrain.
  10. Ancient Chant of Kabul (3:21): This sounds like a man calling plaintively upon the woman he seeks to court. I wonder what it really says?
  11. Ancient Chant of Khodaman (2:37): Very emotional singing — Why don’t we have such intense feelings like this anymore? Have we become too desensitized?
  12. Tumbur (Lute) Solo (3:45): Instrumental song only; played with Tumbur and Zer-Berhali acting in consonance with each other, extremely tightly.
  13. Ghazni Chant (2:09): I think I’ve heard this tune with some other different background — I’m thinking one of the popular Israeli singers, like Eyal Golan, Moshik Afia, Moshe Peretz or Dudu Aharon.
  14. Chorus from the Panshir (3:12): Repetitive talk-singing and clapping; I don’t hear the doirah (tambourine) that’s supposedly supposed to be playing in this song.
  15. Solo of Sarinda (2:55): This is nice. It’s another Instrumental with bow instruments supposedly in the Roma mode, but I don’t really hear it.
  16. The Dotar (Small Lute) of Herat (3:14): Instrumental; twangy and plucky, almost like an Australian didgeridoo.

 

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Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda

Address updated from the liner notes to correspond with website information (please verify this information before use):

Smithsonian Folkways Mail Order, PO Box 37012, MRC 520, CG 2001, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012; Phone/U.S.: (800) 410-9815, or (888) FOLKWAYS; Phone/International: (202) 633-6450; Fax/U.S.: (800) 853-9511, or (202) 633-6477; Website/(http://www.folkways.si.edu); Informational Requests (not secure for orders!): (smithsonianfolkways@si.edu). (p) and © 2003 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Compiled and annotated by Jeffrey A. Summit, co-author with Richard Sobol, of Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda (New York: Abbeville Press, 2002). He is a Research Professor at Tufts University, where he also serves as Rabbi and executive director of Hillel.

Folkway Records was founded in 1948 by Moses Asch. The Smithsonian Institute acquired the collection in 1987 from the Asch estate. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is a non-profit label “expressing a commitment to cultural diversity, education and increased understanding.”

I’m glad I wrote my comments prior to reading the CD’s liner notes and revealed my own impressions without being influenced by someone else’s thoughts. In the end, though, after hearing the entire CD and then reading the story, I must say that the story did influence my thoughts.

Nowadays in this crazy world, everybody criticizes and hates the Jews and tells them what awful people they are — so much so that the United Nations disproportionately issues resolutions against them; the Christians and others start a boycott and divestment campaign to stop others from doing business with us (the Jews), which, with the exception of oil, is the original way that the Arabs got others to boycott us and use them instead. If a business “did business” with the Jews, then the Arabs would not give that company its business; and if the Arabs were courted by foreign businessmen, then the foreign businessmen had to cease all dealings with the Jews before acquiring any Arab business! Given the Inquisition, the Crusades, the pogroms and The Final Solution against us, why on earth would anybody desire to be a part of the Jewish people?

The answer is — for the same reason that they hate us. For because G-d said that we would be His people and He would be our G-d, we are envied and despised and need to be made to look unworthy of the honor (already bestowed). That is the reason for “replacement theology,” whereby another group claims conferred status for themselves and tries to make it appear that our position (in G-d’s eyes) has been replaced.

That is why I am very wary of all those who have gone before and all those who will come since who wish to ally themselves to Judaism in claims of being Jewish. Some claim to be lost tribes, and if we get it wrong by forsaking them, we will be in sore trouble with the L-rd for doing so.

This group of people from Uganda, calling themselves ‘The Abayudaya’, does not claim Jewish lineage, but claims to be Jewish through the practice of faith. The CD notes say that, of the approximately 600 people which comprise this community, there span five Bantu ethnic and language groups: Baganda, Basoga, Bagisu, Bagwere, and Banyole. It has been long known that Christian missionaries have, for hundreds of years, been actively engaged in the proselytization of the African continent to make Christian converts of the African people. They have succeeded tremendously. Many of the Abayudaya converted to Christianity under the regime of Idi Amin. The Anglican Church Missionary Society even evangelized the Abayudaya’s founder, Semei Kakungulu, for the Anglican Church.

Kakungulu had hoped to be recognized by Britain as a king in the eastern region of Uganda, but when he was not, he joined the Malakite Protestants instead. By 1919, he is said to have embraced the concept of male circumcision on the eighth day of life, which the Malakite’s founder, Malakai, told him only Jewish people practice. He, his sons, and male followers were circumcised, and they practiced a mixed style of Biblical observance and Protestantism.

Kakungulu adapted Malakite worship music and developed the Sabbath liturgy for the Abayudaya. Their first contact with Judaism occurred when Kakungulu met a Jew named Yusuf, a trader who taught them certain prayers and blessings, elementary Hebrew, and the basics of Kosher slaughtering.

At this point, they dropped references to Jesus and the practice of baptism. Another Jewish man from Yemen, David Solomon, provided them basic Hebrew books and Jewish calendars. It is noted that they had had little contact with Jews up until the mid-1960’s.

The Abayudaya still celebrate the local traditions of their language and ethnic groups and don’t find this to be in conflict with the Jewish identity they have chosen for themselves.

In 1962, Mr. Solomon asked Arye Oded, secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Kampala, to visit them. Mr. Oded did so and arranged for prayerbooks to be sent to them. They began to restructure their worship to more closely resemble Judaic practice, but Idi Amin (1971-1979) put an end to all that.

I guessed that “Yudaya” meant having to do with the Jews; I was right — it means “Jew” in the Luganda language. The plural, “Jews,” is “Bayudaya.” “Abayudaya” means “The Jews,” repeating the definite article when referring to themselves as “The Abayudaya.”

They continue to use their African dialect languages; Hebrew is not used as a communicational language, and is not indigenous to their culture. Hebrew mistakes I noted in several places where it is used in song are referenced in the liner notes, explained as the Luganda influence adding vowels to the Hebrew pronunciation. For instance, I thought I heard an “i” sound at the end of “likrat,” which should not be there. In Hebrew, adding an “i” would mean “to me”, where it is not warranted; I also thought I heard a “u” sound added (some Hebrew dialects do seem to have this, though).

During Idi Amin’s eight- to nine-year reign of Uganda, many Abayudaya converted to Christianity, leaving only about three-hundred of the community remaining with what faith they had acquired to-date. Much of it was forgotten during this time, and they allege to have worshipped in secret, attempting to make its revival beginning in the early 1980’s with the “Young Jewish Club.”

In 1988, the Anglican School claimed Nabugoye Hill where the original Moses Synagogue was. Joab (J.J.) Keki, his brothers, and some youth formed a new group they named “The Kibbutz,” and squatted in one of the buildings on the hill. Kakungulu’s son, though, had converted to Christianity.

As representative of the Abayudaya, Keki first visited the Nairobi Jewish community in the late 1980’s, but was disbelieved. His brother, Gershom Sizomu, however, began to study with one of their members in the early 1990’s.

Many of the Abayudaya now wish to move to Israel. To be recognized formally for one who was not born into the Jewish faith, a halachic conversion must take place and would generally need to be performed by an Orthodox Rabbi. Three Conservative and one Reform Rabbi went in 2002 there to perform conversion for more than 350 members of the community.

Kakungulu divided the Song of Moses into eight songs, which was the basis for Abayudaya worship in the early 1980’s; new compositions were created later on by the Young Jewish Club and were based on various sources and influences: Zulu music, music of the Independent Churches in Kenya, The Salvation Army, Israel Church, and Bantu folk music. Most are sung in the Luganda language with an occasional Hebrew word added. In one of the songs on their CD, they sing of “Musa,” which is the Arabic word for the Jewish Moses, whom the Muslims consider a prophet. The Psalms were all originally sung in Luganda, but they are now starting to be increasingly sung in Hebrew.

Popular African music also plays a role in shaping the composition of Abayudayan music. They seem to prefer their own compositions and liturgy over incorporating traditional Jewish music and prayer services into their own. It does not seem to me to be part of the Jewish community when tradition is held in such disregard, in deference to secular, non-religious factors. What has held all Jews together, despite differences in worship style, are certain prayers and traditions which cannot just be jettisoned and its results considered Jewish at the same time. While Reform and Orthodox practice, on outward appearance, seem to be unrelated at-best, the premise of Judaism remains essentially, at its core, the same.

In a dustjacket photo, the menorah crafted by one of their people is a symbolic rendition only — a metal sculpture without a place for candles or oil. We use a chanukkiyah to commemorate the Hasmonean Jewish victory more than 2000 years ago over the occupying Roman pagan forces, when we recouped our Temple and resanctified it with the cruze of Holy oil found there, which burned eight days, ensuring enough time for additional oil to be produced. The chanukkiyah, used only for this festival commemoration, has eight place-arms to represent each day for which the light was kindled, plus one holder more for the lead candle. There is to always burn an eternal flame kept lit in the Temple.

I don’t know whether the Abayudaya have been formally recognized, but without going through an Orthodox conversion, it seems unlikely to be a possibility, despite everyone’s best wishes. They insist on maintaining their own traditions and not adopting the other Jewish ones. They are adamant about that. So, what makes that Jewish? To me, that pretty much makes it… Bantu.

1) Psalm 136 (3:24) – Beautiful in phases I and II (upbeat mode). Swahili Mapambio style used in evangelical Churches throughout East Africa. Composed by J.J. Keki.

2) Katonda Oyo Nalimana (G-d is All-Knowing) (4:09) – Crazy drums, crazy chanting, frantic clapping and crazy yips (as in, “whoo-whoo” crazy). So crazy, singers even do the “whoo-whoo” screaming where you pat your lips with your flat hand. Undignified. A traditional song of the Basoga people with improvised words in Luganda (as they traditionally are in this style and context).

3) Hiwumbe Awumba (G-d Creates and then Destroys) (2:31) – Crazy music-box ukelele-sounding song with bird-twittering in the background. Mentions airplanes, bicycles, cars and death. By Michael Mausoni, whose own family are Christian converts. Similar to 1990’s-style sounds. Umm……………….

4) Mwana Talitambula (The Child Will Never Walk) (1:18) – A child singing about a child who will never walk. I like this. The child uses vocalizations as if it were an instrument. Lusoga text based on local traditions.

5) Mwana, Ngolera (Baby, Keep Quiet) (0:49) – An older child in a deeper tone singing rhythmically, as if an instrument. Lunyole text based on local traditions.

6) Tulo, Tulo (Sleep, Sleep) (0:52) – One singer, singing softly, “Sleep, sleep.” Very nice. Popular Baganda lullabye, Luganda text. “Sleep, sleep, take the child. If you don’t, then you are a witch! I want to go dancing, change my life. You only live once.” Sounds like typical American crap from too-young parents with children, who still want to party and foist their children on others. Not Jewish values at all.

7) I am a Soldier (0:46) – Lots of children singing that they’re a soldier in the Army of the L-rd. (In English). This song made me angry. I feel they are mocking Israel and Jews with their English, saying they are a soldier in the L-rd’s Army. It comes across very poorly, as if it was meant to. Indeed, it was a Pentecostal Church song to which they added the final verse, “in the Army of the L-rd” to supposedly make it “Jewish”.

8) Mi Khamokha (Who is Like You, O, G-d?) (0:18) – Parts of a Hebrew prayer. Different than I’m used to. Different melody, as theirs is composed by Aaron Kintu Moses. (One verse, in Hebrew).

9) Kabbila (The Patch of Forest) (3:49) – Repetitive. Woman’s voice too shrill for my ears. Traditional Baganda folk song, text in Luganda.

10) Twagala Torah (We Love the Torah) (1:33) – Text in Luganda, English and Hebrew. Melody and Luganda text by Moses Sebagabo.

11) We are Happy (3:25) – An actual song with accompaniment, singing ‘they’re happy’. Village guitar music, keyboards, occasional drums and adungu (harp) about Purim, with improvised lyrics to mark occasion of the festivity. Composed by Gershom Sizomu. (In English).

12) Adon Olam (Master of the World) (1:53) – I nod in praise. Hebrew text. Melody by Gershom Sizomu.

13) Lekhah, Dodi (Come, My Beloved) (5:21) – I think I hear some Hebrew mistakes. Hebrew text, sung in Hebrew. Melody by J.J. Keki.

14) Psalm 92 (4:59) – Sounds like they’ve received some coaching from Missionary Christians teaching hymns. Composed by Jonadav Keki (J.J. Keki and Gershom Sizoku’s father). Influenced by Protestant worship. Text in Luganda.

15) Psalm 93 (2:44) – Another Christian hymn-sounding song. (“Musa?”). Text in Luganda. Melody by Jacob Mwosuko.

16) Kiddush and Motzi (Sabbath Blessing over Wine and Bread) (1:11) – The blessings over bread and wine (different tunes than I’m used to). (In Hebrew). Melody by Gershom Sizomu.

17) Psalm 121 (1:31) – With jingle bells! Text in Luganda. Melody by Miriam Keki (1980’s).

18) Maimuna (2:13) – Crazy yips, ululations, whistles — too much! J.J.Keki’s campaign song for chairman of Namonyonyi subcounty. He first ran unsuccessfully in 2000, and then again at a later date, after 9/11/2001, which was successful (Keki was walking up to the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, when the first plane hit the tower). Based on a modified version of a Bagisu circumcision song, although Abayudaya do not participate in Bagisu circumcision rituals, but have close contact with them. Maimuna is a woman’s name. “Maimuna, the animal is in the trap. Maimuna, ‘Where are we going?’ You are required to go to school before you obtain leadership positions.” The final line is sung with an alternated response: “J.J.”, “Keki”. This sounds like the situation they were in under British Colonial rule, not Judaism.

19) Hinei Ma Tov (Behold How Good it is for Brothers to Dwell Together) (1:23) – Hebrew mistakes again (adding an “i” after a word where it doesn’t really belong, and a “u”). Different tune, also. Text in Luganda and Hebrew. Group composition of the Young Jewish Club in the 1980’s.

20) Ali Omu Yekka (My Only One) (4:45) – A song with musical accompaniment. It’s very nice. Some words include: “My Beloved”, ” My Doctor”, “My Wealth… the only one I choose”. Sounds rather like stereotyping of the Jews, no? Sounds like a choice based on acquiring traits by association, as if talismanic, no? Text in Luganda by J.J. Keki. Melody by J.J. Keki.

21) Psalm 150 (3:33) – I started singing along; I must know some of the tune. Text in Luganda, with last verse in Hebrew. Melody by J.J. Keki.

22) Deuteronomy 32:8 / Song Two (Selection) (0:35) – A chant. Text in Luganda. Adapted by Kakungulu, founder of the Abayudaya, from Malakite melodies. This song is no longer used, except at sad occasions.

23) Deuteronomy 32:39 / Song Eight (3:35) – Slow singing by men. Text in Luganda (some seemed to sound like Arabic: I thought I heard the word, “Sura,” meaning, ‘Chapter.’). Adapted by Kakungulu, founder of the Abayudaya, from a Malakite melody. Sung by J.J. Keki, Gershom Sizomu, Aaron Kintu Moses, and their mother, Devorah (they are one family). This song is no longer used, except at sad occasions.

24) Psalm 130 (1:52) – A little ditty. Text in Luganda. Melody by Yael Keki. This song is only used for sad occasions.

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