While klezmer music has enjoyed a revival in the late 20th century, Yiddish popular song seemed destined to vanish altogether. But efforts by Mandy Patinkin and Chava Alberstein attempt to breathe new life into the old tradition. This disc of well-selected songs attempts to paint a portrait of village life for Eastern European Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But besides the charming tunes, Alberstein's rich delivery really brings the tunes to life. There is a nice combination of emotion, sensuality and humor to her delivery that makes the songs consistently intriguing. Even without understanding the words, her interpretation invests the tunes with character.
Gabriele Coen’s second project for Tzadik explores the nexus of Jewish music and jazz through the work of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Shelly Manne, Terry Gibbs, Herbie Mann, Mickey Katz and more. Tapping into modern Yiddish swing, Coen’s exciting arrangements and fabulous band has created a true melting pot music, bringing together a variety of jazz styles in this beautiful and lyrical collection.