Category Archives: Music

Peter Himmelman Live

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Happy New Year

Louis Armstrong, When The Saints Go Marching In, circa 1933.

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16 VIDEOS: Dylan Live 1976

Tzemach Atlas has posted a great video of Bob Dylan singing Idot Wind live in 1976. I searched YouTube for more videos from that concert and found 16 live videos made in 1976. I’m posting one, Shelter From The Storm, here. The rest can be viewed on YouTube. These are really great. Enjoy.

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A Ba’al Teshuva Story: Carlos Santana Returns To Jerusalem

The JPost is reporting that Carlos Santana has agreed to play a concert in Jerusalem this Spring. The news reminded me of a story from 1987, which may be the last time Carlos was in Israel. It was April 29 and smack in the middle of sefirat haomer. Of course, being a good yeshiva mon, I did not listen to music during sefira. Anyway, I’m walking through the square of the Jewish Quarter and I see a flatmate sitting on a bench playing his guitar. I shook my head disapprovingly and walked by him. A few minutes later, I come out of Tony’s makolet, and I see a stranger sitting with my friend, playing his guitar – and boy can this guy play. I take a closer look and, sure enough, it’s Carlos Santana.

I had one of those BT moments, when one has to choose between being really frum or living life normally. I made a bad choice, and went to the bais medrash for my afternoon shiurim. (If this ever happens to you, get professional help immediately.)

I study with all the false fervor I can muster. A few hours later, I run into my flatmate back in the square. He’s alone, and comes up to me. “Shmarya,” he says, “I had a strange day.” “What happened?” I asked, even though I knew. He then tells me the story. Except there’s a great twist. The flat mate doesn’t know it’s Santana. It’s just some guy in the square named Carlos who asks to try his guitar, and then plays it really well, teaching my friend licks. After an hour or so of this, my friend says to him, “Have you seen the Wailing Wall yet?” “Is it close by?” Santana replies. My friend says “Sure, just a couple of blocks, I’ll take you.” And so he does.

Santana gets to the Wall and prays his heart out. When he’s done, he thanks my friend for the help and for jamming with him. He then pulls a couple of tickets out of his pocket, gives them to my friend and says, “Why don’t you come and see my band play tonight? Come backstage after.” At this point my friend says, not looking at the tickets in his hand, “Carlos, what’s the name of your band?” Santana tells him. My friend begins to have trouble breathing.

They part. The upshot as I remember it was this guy wouldn’t go to the concert, because, you guessed it, sefira, and a concert was really live music, unlike simple jamming in the square. I hope for his sake I remember this part incorrectly.

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Matisyahu Farbrengen Online Video

Looks like this was shot in Hadar HaTorah. Features a nice Matisyahu performance and a guest shot by Charlie Buttons. (No Yechi action, either.) Nice.

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Jazz Great Ornette Coleman On Yossele Rosenblatt

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From the New York Times:

…MR. COLEMAN’S first request was something by Josef Rosenblatt, the Ukrainian-born cantor who moved to New York in 1911 and became one of the city’s most popular entertainers — as well as a symbol for not selling out your convictions. (He turned down a position with a Chicago opera company, but was persuaded to take a small role in Al Jolson’s film “The Jazz Singer.”) I brought some recordings from 1916 and we listened to “Tikanto Shabbos,” a song from Sabbath services. Rosenblatt’s voice came booming out, strong and clear at the bottom, with miraculous coloratura runs at the top.

“I was once in Chicago, about 20-some years ago,” Mr. Coleman said. “A young man said, ‘I’d like you to come by so I can play something for you.’ I went down to his basement and he put on Josef Rosenblatt, and I started crying like a baby. The record he had was crying, singing and praying, all in the same breath. I said, wait a minute. You can’t find those notes. Those are not ‘notes.’ They don’t exist.”

He listened some more. Rosenblatt was working with text, singing brilliant figures with it, then coming down on a resolving note, which was confirmed and stabilized by a pianist’s chord. “I want to ask something,” he said. “Is the language he’s singing making the resolution? Not the melody. I mean, he’s resolving. He’s not singing a ‘melody.’ ”

It could be that he’s at least singing each little section in relation to a mode, I said.

“I think he’s singing pure spiritual,” he said. “He’s making the sound of what he’s experiencing as a human being, turning it into the quality of his voice, and what he’s singing to is what he’s singing about. We hear it as ‘how he’s singing.’ But he’s singing about something. I don’t know what it is, but it’s bad.”

I wonder how much of it is really improvised, I said. Which up-and-down melodic shapes, and in which orders, were well practiced, and which weren’t.

“Mm-hmm,” he said. “I understand what you’re saying. But it doesn’t sound like it’s going up and down; it sounds like it’s going out. Which means it’s coming from his soul.”…

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Bob Dylan’s Alleged “Plagiarism” …

Dylan 'Plagiarism'

… is no big deal.

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