New Reviews: September 20, 2000
Ghetto Tango: Wartime Yiddish theatre
Adrienne Cooper and Zalmen Mlotek
Herein lies the map of spiritual resistance.
From songs literally buried in milk cans in Warsaw and
Vilna during World War II to those handed down orally in
concentration camps comes this remarkable collection of Jewish cabaret music.
If ever music held the keys to our collective souls, it is clear in this
passionate recording. This Traditional Crossroads CD is the memoir of
a people who, though torn from another in so many grievous ways, nonetheless
remained resilient. Adrienne Cooper and Zalmen Mlotek have shared a masterpiece.
The first U.S. release from Takfarinas is Yal ("come to our warmth"), from Tinder Records.
The famed Maghreb musician who invented the term "Yal" to describe his powerful blend of
European pop rock, funk, Berber melodies, flamenco, and R&B, Takfarinas plays his
double-necked mandole and sings with vibrant energy the fusion that is the music of
a blended world. Formerly of Algeria, Takfarinas now hails from France, where he
released several hits, including "Zaama-Zaama" from Yal.
Savina Yannatou and the Primavera en Salonico ensemble
Adrift the warm ephemeral breezes of the blue Mediterranean, about two feet
just above the ocean waves you are able touch the spirit of any points East,
South, West and North in Savina Yannatou's new CD in collaboration with the
Primavera en Salonico ensemble of traditional acoustic instruments,
released by Sounds True. From the opening
alluring melismas through staccato dances to tightly woven harmonies
and simple cries exquisitely orchestrated, Yannatou's poignant
vocalizations open a door to the Mediterranean lands so ancient
that upon entrance you may discover you have never left.
Jenece Gerber is a perpetual student of culture, religion and music,
with a BA in ethnomusicology from Bowling Green State University, Bowling
Green, Ohio USA. An avid composer, Ms. Gerber writes from her musical
travels in the context of sociocultural realities and dreams. She is the
winner of the 1995 Music Teachers National Association student composition
competition for her work employing the Indonesian flute (suling). Ms. Gerber
is also soon to have a work entitled The Night of Brahm published by Earnestly Music.