Jewish Music Blog

July 23, 2006

AKA Pella Video Taken Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 10:52 am

It seems that AKA Pella has taken down their controversial movie, most probably in no small part because of the comments on this blog.

(more…)

July 20, 2006

Shabbos Nachamu Concert(s)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 11:35 pm

Concert Poster

I received this poster from JE Magazine. Doesn’t the Monticello Shabbos Nachamu concert usually feature Avraham Fried?

Receiving this poster made me wonder: what other Shabbos Nachamu concerts are there?

I received this poster from an anonymous source:

This is usually the concert with Avraham Fried. Information of Chaim Muhlbauer (who?) here.
Looks like it’s a battle between Neginah and Neshoma.

July 17, 2006

AKA Pella Umacha – Review

Filed under: Reviews — jewishmusic @ 5:50 pm

Just in time for the 3 weeks, AKA Pella released a single Umacha, which is available as a free download from Sameach Music here. The arrangement style is very similar to the album Premium Blend, with vocal drums, bass, and distortion guitar (my review here). Unlike the album though, this song uses rhythm distortion guitar extensively. Often when distortion guitar is used, vocals mixed to little more than a sine wave are used to compliment the guitar, which sounds excellent. This track doesn’t sound as polished as the Premium Blend tracks, but they still did a very good job. For example, the main vocal on the first high part at 1:35 sounds very nasal, and at 2:17 and 3:36 the distortion guitar on the minor I chord sounds muffled and too distorted. Also, the beginning of the song has very low background oohs, so if you wanted to listen to this track in a car, you would constantly have to adjust the volume. But, these things are very minor and the track overall is excellent. As always, although the lyrics are in line with the 3 weeks, the arrangement may be a little too good.

The song Umacha is from Yehuda!’s album Oh Yerushalayim. The low part of the song is actually a Chris de Burgh song called the The Snows of New York. CD Eichler sent me the jacket to the album which states that the track is arranged by CD Eichler, Yossi Rotbard, from Yossi and Yerachmiel, as well as Ed Boyer. Additional harmonies were arranged by Mo Kiss and Ed Boyer, and the featured vocalists on this track are Elie Ganz, CD Eichler and Yoel Horowitz.

Updates 7/19/06: AKA Pella has an additional website located at akapella.net which features a new video for the single. The video has background music, but is in much better taste than the previous video.

Commenters to this post have pointed out that Umacha is based around the Scorpion song Wind of Change. The intro, bridge and final interlude are carefully modeled after this song.

Update 7/21/06: It seems that AKA Pella has taken down their controversial video, most probably in no small part because of the comments on this blog.

Free Acapella Music!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 5:12 pm

Sameach Music is offering a free download of AKA Pella’s Umacha. Review coming shortly.

Also available is a free download of the Acapella version of We Stand As One. I can’t think of a more appropriate time for this song.

July 13, 2006

Frumcommunity.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 3:34 pm

Frumcommunity.com connects “the worldwide frum community”. Frumcommunity.com brings together forums, blogs, news, shuls, classifieds and more. Featured on frumcommunity is my blog, which is focused on Jewish Music Reviews, as well as many other intersesting blogs.

Check it out!!

July 10, 2006

Links and Other News 7/10/06

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 11:31 am

Lior Gabay’s Jewishmusic.tk has some interesting clips of different artists, as well as the debut of his Jewish music online show, the Jewish Music Insider. The website design needs a lot of work – for example, in order to click on a link you can’t just click on the picture, you have to click on the words below the picture. The site also uses frames, so you can’t link directly to pages other than the home page.

I felt the most interesting interview was with Gad Elbaz, because he actually has a personality and a story behind his music. The other people interviewed were Nachman Seltzer (who?) and Udi Ulman. The show seemed to be focused around musicians based in Israel.

The site also has various clips of other artists, but beware, you’ll have to sit through a 30 second advertisement from the “sponsor” – Lior’s brother Dovid Gabay.

In other news, I recently played at a small concert with Eitan Katz. His style is very Carlebach like, and the instumentation was very simple – piano/bass, percussion and flute/saxophone. It was a different style of music than I’m used to playing, but we had a good time and made some good, inspiring music.

The most difficult part for me as a musician was the fact that we didn’t have sheet music in front of us, except for one song. It was difficult not because I didn’t know the tunes, but because I didn’t know the chord changes that Eitan played behind the tunes. I quickly picked up on his changes, but there were times where I couldn’t hear his guitar very well, and I hoped I was playing the same changes as he was.

July 6, 2006

Some Really Good Imitations

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 11:22 am

Pinchos Vorst e-mailed me about his Jewish singer imitations page, and at first I was skeptical. But after I listened to some of these imitations, I was blown away, and even got a couple of laughs out of it.

Pinchos manages to change the tone of his voice and comes really close to sounding like the original. Even if his voice doesn’t sound exactly like the original, his inflections are right on. I also like how Pinchos creatively exaggerated qualities of singers which made it humorous.

June 27, 2006

Links 6/27/06

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 10:49 pm

Here are some clips of an MBD, Avraham Fried and Yeedle concert in Manchester, England. The captions are quite insightful.

Here is yet another version of Niggun Neshoma. Although I don’t know who’s singing or who’s playing, I am 99.9% sure that it was arranged by Ron Tichon, based on the style of arrangement and sounds used.
(HT life-of-rubin)

Towncrier has a cute Apprentice related video and asks if this is a Miami Boys Choir song.

June 23, 2006

Sruli Ginsberg Oz Yibakeh – Review

Filed under: Reviews — jewishmusic @ 5:42 pm

Oz Yibakeh is Sruli Ginsberg’s second album (first was Aneini), and it falls under the genre of yeshivish music. Although this album doesn’t diverge significantly from the standard yeshivish sound, there’s something a little more emotional about this album, and it reflects itself in both the music, arranged by Sruli’s brother, Heshi, and the songs, which are composed by Lipa Shemltzer, Yishai Lapidot, R’ Hillel Palei, and other familiar names. The vocals for the most part are very lively and emotional, although they are sometimes inconsistent, especially towards the later songs on the album.

The strength of the songs lies in the fast songs, such as the freilach/rock Heimo, the rock song ChasidiShai, and slow freilach Chasdei. Heimo, composed by Lipa Shemltzer, is an atypical rock/freilach which has a tremendous amount of energy. The tune is great, and has the potential to be played at weddings. (I planned on attaching sheet music in .pdf format for Heimo, but I was unable to figure out how to do this in blogger. Does anyone know if attaching .pdfs is possible in blogger?) Chasdei is an above-average slow freilach, and the tune is emotional and the arrangement is original and compliments the vocals well. ChasidiShai, composed by Yishai Lapidot, is a niggun with no words, and is a very traditional tune, which is unusual for Lapidot. The tune has a great interlude with slap bass and then goes into a funky groove. The ballads for the most part are not as good as the fast songs.

The arrangements and tunes are more varied than most yeshivish albums. ChasidiShai has a 70s disco feel, with pitch bent strings, rhodes, and wah-wah guitar. Ein Aroch is arranged very well, with interesting chord changes in the intro, and a I7 chord before a V chord. The string section sounds very emotional, especially in the intro to Oz Yibakeh, which is unusual for a Jewish album where the string section usually sounds canned. All in all, there is a great deal of variety on this album.

Sruli’s vocals sometimes sound like Baruch Aboud, Yisroel Williger, Lipa and Yeedle, but the bottom line is that he has a unique voice. The only aspect of his singing I didn’t like is that when he bends into notes, they are often out of tune. This is especially apparent in the ballads.

Oz Yibakeh is a yeshivish album plus. The arrangements and tunes are slightly more sophisticated than usual, which makes for interesting listening.

Some pictures from this album are available here and here, and the track B’fi is available here towards the bottom of the page.

June 16, 2006

Yehuda Generations of Song – Review

Filed under: Reviews — jewishmusic @ 3:14 pm

It’s been a little over 4 years since Yehuda’s last album, Eftach Pi, and Generations of Song is a welcome addition to the Yehuda family. This album has everything that makes a Yehuda album great – tasteful arrangements and vocals, as well as classic Yehuda-style discos and ballads.

Generations of Song is arranged by Yehuda, and its sound is very similar to Eftach Pi, which unlike Yehuda’s earlier albums, uses real instruments as well as synth sounds. There are a couple of notable changes from Eftach Pi, though. Similar to Yehuda & Friends, several songs such as Shimu and Aleinu, have duets. Also, Yehuda steps up his vocals by singing higher notes more often. This album also includes the now popular Niggun Neshomele (aka Niggun Neshoma), and Yehuda’s version is done very well. The musicians have a chance to improvise, and the groove is just right. The song Chai Hashem has a great soft-rock groove, and Ana Avda is a Turkish hora which utilizes several world instruments. The title song is a gentle jazzy ballad which starts off with very tasteful smooth jazz piano covered by Yaron Gotfried. This is the best I’ve ever heard of Gotfried, who always seems a little too mechanical.

What I like most about Yehuda is that everything fits. What I mean by this is that ballads remain heartfelt ballads, and don’t transform into hard-rock ballads, and even his rockiest song, Psach Libi, doesn’t use heavy distortion guitar just for the sake of using distortion guitar. Another example of how everything fits is that the tunes fit the lyrics to tunes. Nachem is a ballad, and not a catchy rock song. Yehuda also uses the choir very creatively by switching parts of melodies from the choir to himself such as in Niggun Neshomele and Psach Libi, and by improvising over the choir.

Yehuda takes his significant musical experience and the result is an album that manages to surpass his previous albums. This album is a must for Yehuda fans, and even for some non-Yehuda fans.

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