In This Place: Jewish Songs of Time & Space[CD]
For over 1000 years, cantors have created musical sounds to inspire the Jews of their time and place. The celebrated cantor and songwriter JEFF KLEPPER (of the legendary duo Kol B'seder, co-composer of 'Shalom Rav' and 'Lo Alecha') lives in that tradition. His songs bring a fresh voice and spirit to our Jewish world. His classic solo recording, IN THIS PLACE, (re-released on it's 10th anniversary) continues in that tradition of exploring and blending the variety of contemporary sounds that speak to today's Jews. From folk, jazz and rock to traditional chant and Middle-Eastern melismas, Jeff's music is unlike anything you will hear on the Jewish scene. His songs are a celebration of the contemporary Jewish spirit, pulsing with energy and serenity, searching for meaning and joy. "Jeff Klepper's songs are a gift to us all...the soundtrack of our search for God." (Rabbi Daniel Freelander) The Songs: In This Place opens with the title song, a modern re-telling of the Jacob's Ladder story, followed by two songs set to poetry by the late Rabbi Chaim Stern, 'You Are Stormwind,' a kabbalistic jazz meditation, and the folky 'Give Me Sleep,' based on the evening Hashkiveinu prayer. Jeff's jazz-influenced 'Modim,' a prayer of thanksgiving, and a haunting Sephardic version of 'Adon Olam' lead into one of his most powerful songs, 'Empty Chair,' which connects the famous throne of Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav to the prophet Elijah, whose presence is felt at key moments in the Jewish calendar and life-cycle. The simple 'Nigun,' a wordless Chassidic tune, introduces a suite of original chant-like melodies with a slightly Middle-Eastern feel, intended for meditation and reflection, 'Open Up Our Eyes,' 'Esah Einai' (from Psalm 121), 'Elohim Y'choneinu' (from Psalm 67), and 'Ahava Raba' (With Great Love.) The album closes with the gentle 'Shema Koleinu' (Hear Our Prayer), and 'Leida Hi Reisheet' (Birth is a Beginning), a tender setting of the late Rabbi Alvin Fine's famous poem on the never-ending cycle of life. The Musicians: Produced by Stuart Rosenberg, featuring Howard Levy (The Flecktones) on piano and harmonica, along with Jeff Klepper (guitar), Steve Zoloto (soprano saxophone), Alejo Poveda and Reuben Alvarez (percussion), Larry Gray, Kelly Sill and Eric Hochberg (bass), and Collins Trier (hammered dulcimer).
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