Matt's Blog

Weblog of New York City based Jewish Musician.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Last nights concert at the Museum of Jewish Heritage; A Living (I respectfully leave off the rest of the name) presented a wonderful concert of neo-hasidic and hasidic music. Which of the two acts was the hasidic act and which one was the neo-hasidic act is up for debate. They both could be neo-hasidic, but as Jews, I doubt we could come to an agreement on that.

Opening was the sounds of Shekhina and Kol Isha. Lead by Frank London (Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars, to name a few) it featured downtown guitarist Marc Ribot and keyboardist and thermin player Rob Schwimmer (The Zmiros Project, Simon & Garfunkel) as the names that the non-jewish music listening audience would know. Kol Isha is a group of women singers who sing mostly what would be considered men's material. (Most of the hasidic repertiore is men's material, so anytime women sing, especially in public.) And they are good, find someone to bring them to your city, or atleast go out and order the sound track to Divan that they can be heard on.

Yossi Piamenta was great, nice and raw. Both when he came out and played with Shekhina and traded amazing licks with Marc Ribot and with his band. They played a nice mix of tunes, but it is a shame that many of them are from the first Piamenta Brothers albums of Jewish Music, "A Medley of Oriental and Chassidic Songs" which to my knowledge has never been reissued on CD. In a way it wouldn't translate well to CD being just two tracks. But its raw fire power makes it worth tracking down a copy to hear.


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