Sacred Music

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Life of the Worlds: Journeys In Jewish Sacred Music by Richard Kaplan

In an interview promoting Life of the Worlds, cantor and songwriter Richard Kaplan explained that the loose and free feel of his music came from encounters with the recordings of John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones.

Listening to the album it’s easy to see why Tyner himself has thrown kind words Kaplan’s way. Life of the Worlds contains Jewish sacred world music from the Middle East, Andalusia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia played by a small ensemble, often augmented by guests from around the world.

Kaplan sets sacred texts and poems to traditional Jewish melodies and new compositions, or in the case of  “Eyn Keloheynu,” he offers a new arrangement. His love of music that is both deep and moving keeps the album from being too syrupy, and a respectful but maverick attitude makes it charmingly cosmopolitan over academic.

Kaplan’s excellent writing and arranging skills are matched by his passionate vocal delivery and lyrical piano playing along with some excellent interaction with his fellow musicians. Take the Afghani Jewish chant “Le’el Adir Neranenah,” for example. After Kaplan’s fiery vocal opens the number he blends into a radiant choir of voices with the message and mysticism coming through loud and clear. It’s his combination of talent and humility that makes him so charismatic and Life of the Worlds such an appealing and illuminating listen. Add a detailed 32-page booklet and you’ve got an excellent package for both ethnomusicologists and novices who appreciate spiritual music.  David Jeffries, Rovi

Performing professionally as a singer, songwriter, and pianist for over 40 years, Richard Kaplan is a cantor, teacher, and ethnomusicologist.

His extensive concert repertoire of Jewish World Music includes songs from Ashkenazic (European), Mizrachi (Middle Eastern), and Sephardic (Spanish/Andalusian) traditions, as well as original pieces, often based on ancient melodies and texts.

Richard tours nationally and internationally giving workshops where participants can experientially explore masterpieces of Jewish World Sacred Music.

“It is my fervent hope that these musical offerings, whether in concert, workshop, or ritual setting, will be joyous and contemplative experiences that will inspire an appreciation of and a desire to delve deeper into our magnificent Jewish heritage – the sacred and secular, mystical and prophetic, Ashkenazic, Mizrachi, and Sephardic.” – Richard Kaplan


Album:  Life of the Worlds: Journeys In Jewish Sacred Music

Price: $9.90
Genres: World, Music, Worldbeat
Released: Jul 17, 2003 ℗ 2003 Five Souls Music

To buy CD/listen to samples click here (iTunes)

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