CD Diaspora Soul (CD 987708),
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Diaspora Soul

  • 1. Manishtana
    2. Chaim, L'
    3. Shalom Bimromav
    4. Roumania, Roumania
    5. Cha
    6. Rock of Ages
    7. Chusen Kalah Mazel Tov
    8. Mazinka
    9. Let My People Go
    10. Ani Mamin
    11. Habet Mishomayim
    12. Dybbuk Dub
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7137

  • Credits
    EngineerScott Harding

    Personnel includes: Steven Bernstein (trumpet); Paul Shapiro, Michael Blake, Peter Apelbaum (tenor saxophone); Briggan Krauss (baritone saxophone);
    Brian Mitchell (Wurlitzer piano); Tony Scherr (bass); Robert J. Rodriguez (drums, percussion); E.J. Rodriguez (bongos, congas, maracas).
    Producers: Steven Bernstein, Kazunori Sugiyama.
    Principally recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York on March 28, 1999. Includes liner notes by Steven Bernstein.
    This is part of Tzadik Records "Radical Jewish Culture" series.
    Personnel: Steven Bernstein (trumpet); Michael Blake , Paul Shapiro , Peter Apfelbaum (tenor saxophone); Briggan Krauss (baritone saxophone); Brian Mitchell (electric piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Robert Rodriguez (drums, percussion); E.J. Rodriguez (congas, bongos, claves, maracas).
    Audio Mixers: Scotty Hard; Tony Scherr.
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (03/22/1999-03/28/1999).
    Photographers: Michael Macioce; Aki Onda.
    Arranger: Steven Bernstein .
    Trumpeter Steven Bernstein gathers an excellent cast of some of New York's more adventurous jazz musicians. Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series has presented an endlessly creative variety of music that incorporates elements of Jewish music traditions into new jazz, rock, and experimental contexts, and the release of Diaspora Soul means a few more styles can now be added to the list! With a sense of humor lacking any condescending irony, Bernstein throws some cha cha into his New Orleans R&B and Afro-Cuban-influenced arrangements of traditional cantorials, an Ashkenazi wedding song, a Chanukah song, and more, resulting in a sultry and grooving album. Paying tribute to these music traditions, Bernstein adopts them in a way that's heartier than mere imitation. This fun album doesn't grow old with repeated spins, and the approach is as enjoyable as Marc Ribot's take on Cuban music in Prosthetic Cubans, which also features E.J. and Robert J. Rodriguez on percussion. Other musicians on this recording include Bernstein's fellow Lounge Lizard, tenor saxophonist Michael Blake (whose Kingdom of Champa pays tribute to another world music style, creating a fresh jazz loaded with Vietnamese influence), the distinctively twisted sound of Briggan Krauss playing baritone sax, and the soulful, mean keyboard work of Brian Mitchell. Bernstein sounds strong, leading the band through upbeat arrangements that are a little closer to lounge music than the gritty drawls (and slide trumpet!) of his band Sex Mob, also with Krauss and bassist Tony Scherr. ~ Joslyn Layne

  • Critic Reviews
    The Wire (11/99, p.72) - "...Passover songs and cantorial transcriptions filtered through the style of Willie Bobo. The presence of percussionists EJ and Robert Rodriguez, from Marc Ribot's Los Cubanos Postizos, highlights the proximity of [DIASPORA] to that group's irresistible atmosphere of chilled languid funkiness."
    Down Beat (2/00, p.77) - 4 out of 5 - "...a mixed bag....soulful Jewish compositions...with the Gulf Coast tropes of New Orleans marching bands and Afro-Cuban rhythms evoking the homebrew sonic ambience of...Cosimo Matassa..."
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