The Hot List: May 1, 2003

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

The Jewish and Middle Eastern sounds of Sefarad Records:

Gerard Edery/Adina L. Ruskin - Oigo: Sephardic music maestro Gerard teams with Russian, Jewish, Argentinian and French lyricist Adina to honor some of Spain's greatest poets.

Gerard Edery Ensemble - Chansons d' Amour: Vocalist Cassandra Hoffman and Gerard on vocals and classical guitar bring us French tunes recorded live at the French Institute in New York City in 1996 and 1997.

Gerard Edery Ensemble - Sing To The Eternal: Various tunes steeped in Judaic prose are performed from Morocco, Persia, Yugoslavia, Spain, Turkey and Portugal with Gerard on saz, guitars and vocals.

Gerard Edery Ensemble - Morena: Complex musical compositions with percussion of the Sephardic tradition are sung in Spanish, Hebrew, Ladino, French and Arabic with Gerard and Cassandra Hoffman on vocals.

Gerard Edery Ensemble - Linda Amigo: The Sephardic music of Renaissance Spain is performed on guitar with vocals by Gerard and Cassandra.

The Ivory Consort - Music In The Land Of Three Faiths: Founded by Jay Elfenbein, the Ivory Consort produces medieval songs in Ladino, Arabic, Hebrew, Catalan, Latin and Galician-Portugese from Spain in the 10th through 13th centuries.

Gerard Edery/George Mgrdichian - Romanzas Sefarditas: Spanish, Jewish, Turkish and Egyptian folk tunes are performed on guitar and oud, respectively.

Bensoussan/Edery/Mizrahi - The Sons Of Sepharad: Three masters of Sephardic vocal music explore songs in Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Ladino, English and Hebrew.

Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, titled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.