Roberto Rodriguez’s dynamic blending of Cuban music with the Jewish tradition has produced some of the most popular and best selling CDs on the Radical Jewish series. Here he turns his brilliant arranging skills and fabulous all-star ensemble to nine beautiful melodies from Zorn’s lyrical Book of Angels. Recorded in Israel with some of the strongest musicians out of the exciting Israeli music scene the music is at once familiar and surprising, touching on traditions while bringing them into the 21st century with imagination, wit and a passionate creativity.
This is the Big Band Masada project you’ve been waiting for. Led by composers Sam Eastmond and Nikki Franklin, The SPIKE Orchestra is a large ensemble that draws on a wide range of influences including Duke Ellington, Frank Zappa, Carl Stalling, Zorn and more. Melding jazz, rock, klezmer, cartoon and the avant-garde into a compelling and cohesive vision, this new Angels installment is one of the most imaginative and manic masterpieces in the whole series. An outrageous and explosive swinger that will thrill even the most hardened skeptic. Essential.
Nova Express is one of Zorn’s most dynamic and sensitive ensembles: an MJQ-tinged quartet featuring piano, vibraphone, bass and drums. For their first foray into the world of Masada, they are joined by the ever-popular Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista to create a fabulous program of space-age bachelor pad music for the 21st century. Relaxing and unique instrumental music performed by an all-star quintet of musical masters touching upon the exotic language of The Dreamers, Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Bert Kaempfert, Afro-Cuban bop and more.
Formed in 1997, The Cracow Klezmer Band is a phenomena. Through their spectacular combination of impeccable musicianship, imaginative arrangements and passionate performances they have been universally acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, developing into one of the most successful and exciting acoustic groups in the world. Here they are joined by the lush sound of strings, as Bester turns his prodigious arranging skills to eight new songs from Zorn’s fabulous and varied Book of Angels. Also featuring the Cracow String Quartet this is their best CD to date.
Originally included as part of the exhaustive Unearthed box set of Johnny Cash's American Records recordings, My Mother's Hymn Book is exactly what it claims to be – songs directly out of Cash's mother's old hymnal. Featuring Cash alone playing an acoustic guitar, this is a stark, beautiful, and simple album. In the liner notes, Cash calls this his favorite record he's ever made and it's clear that learning these songs as a child is what inspired his love of music. In that sense, despite no original material, these are some of the most personal songs Cash ever recorded; he even includes song-by-song commentaries that help illuminate what each track meant to him. For Merle Travis' "I Am a Pilgrim" Cash writes, "It's one of those old country gospel classics that my mother sang, that I knew I would record it someday." Of course, Cash recorded gospel songs before this album, as in 1959 with Hymns by Johnny Cash and again in 1962 with Hymns From the Heart and he usually included one gospel track per album.