Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Between Heaven And Earth: Music Of The Jewish Mystics
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Discs that attempt to cross-pollinate jazz with the soulful sounds of klezmer tend to be hit-or-miss; usually you just end up wondering if today's players are half as proficient as the forefathers they're trying to upstage... more »
Listen to Samples
Discs that attempt to cross-pollinate jazz with the soulful sounds of klezmer tend to be hit-or-miss; usually you just end up wondering if today's players are half as proficient as the forefathers they're trying to upstage. Andy Statman's credentials don't allow for such doubts. He apprenticed with klezmer legend Dave Tarras (and was even bequeathed the master's clarinet), and whether on clarinet or mandolin, his playing is impeccable. On Between Heaven & Earth, Statman reaches a (thus far) career high point and creates something completely gorgeous and new. The quartet is modeled on the jazz paradigm (horns, piano, rhythm section), and the occasional virtuoso guest (banjoist Bela Fleck and mandolinist David Grisman) joins in. The results are spectacular: extended meditations on Hasidic themes and compositions that quite literally blossom before your very eyes, with shades of klezmer, bluegrass, and jazz all thrown together. The tunes may not come out swinging, but, filled with gorgeous reflections, a gentle pace, and haunting solos, they simmer to great results. The cuts were recorded live in single takes, and the effect is moving and spiritual; there are quiet moments here, and (thank God) the ensemble never sounds rushed. --Jason Verlinde
Similarly Requested CDs
Superb jazz based on an unusual tradition
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think the reviews by Jason Verlinde and Rabbi Yonassan Gershom are accurate as to the feel and value of this music. I mostly want to add some technical stuff that may be of interest. The quartet is Statman on the clarinet (he has a beautiful yearning tone) and mandolin, Kenny Werner on the piano, Harvie Swartz on the acoustic bass and Bob Weiner on the drums. Bola Fleck (banjo), David Grisman (mandolin) and Scott Lee (bass) put in guest appearances.
When I first heard the first song on this record it reminded me a lot of the first song on Moodiology by George Garzone. Werner also plays on that excellent album and on both albums he is in fine McCoy Tyner form- playing piano of great spiritual power and beauty. Other than Statman, Werner is the main instrumental presence on this disc.
Statman on clarinet is wonderful. He doesn't so much tear up the changes as work with the melodies. When you have melodies of this beauty it is a wonderful approach.
One reviewer found this music to be too new ageish. Maybe but I think in that case he has heard a lot better new age music than I have. I find this album to hold its own against anything I put it up against on my CD changer. Right now I am playing it with masses by Palestrina. I have played it up against Leila Josefowicz, Anouar Braham and George Garzone (it is apparent that Statman is not the player that Garzone is but then how many are?). Each time I play this CD I find new things to hear, new beauty to enjoy. These guys play this music because they love it, they feel it to the bone, it cuts to the heart of how they see the world and, I suspect in Statman's case as well as Palestrina, it is part of an ongoing conversation with God. How often do you get to hear music played with that much heart? It may not speak to you but it is definitely worth a listen to find out."
A Musical Milestone
For Two Cents Plain | Brooklyn, New York United States | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is often said that Andy Statman is a "musician's musician." He also may be said to be a "critic's musician," having earned an unending string of accolades from the press throughout his career. This CD, for example, was featured on the cover of the year-end double-edition of Billboard just before the record hit the stands, and subsequently was dubbed one of the Ten Best CDs of the Year by NY Times music critic, Neal Strauss. If I may add my "two cents," I would say that "Between Heaven and Earth" is an American-Chassidic answer to "A Love Supreme." These sessions were truly inspired!"
TRUE TRADITIION CUTTING EDGE CLASSIC
Alan C. Kesler | Brooklyn, NY USA | 12/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andy does a tremendous job of taking nigunim (songs) of the holy hasidic masters of long a go. he puts it in a format which people can appreciate today. However, he does not sell out. Meaning, is he does not "water down" . Andy perserves the holiness and sacred nature of each tune so that even the tradional are able to enjoy this. Andy bridge the tradition with modern times and does so in a magnificent fashion"