The Music

The music is derived from three traditional sources:

  • Yiddish/klezmer (including folk and theater music);
  • Israeli/Hebrew (including contemporary, folk, and dance tunes);
  • Religious (including music from Chabad/Hassidic, liturgical, and biblical sources).

Songs are interpreted accurately and sensitively because of the vocalist’s knowledge of Hebrew and Yiddish.  Traditional ethnic and folk instruments, such as a clarinet, mandolin, or acoustic guitar, give the music an old world feel. These traditional and ethnic instruments are backed by a professional jazz rhythm section, including keyboards, bass and drums.  Jazz, latin, caribbean and rock and roll rhythms enliven the traditional tunes with a contemporary, “danceable” feel.  This is what we call “klezmer fusion”, the bridging between the Old World and New World sounds.  Original compositions are inspired by sections of the Tanakh and Siddur.  New lyrics with Jewish theme and content are added to popular rock and roll tunes.


CD Includes:

Russische Sher Part 2
Traditional klezmer dance form.  Music: transcribed from 78 RPM performance by Kandel’s Orchestra, Victor Talking Machine Co., Camden NJ.

Sheyn Vi Di Le’vone/Bei Mir Bistu Sheyn
Medley of popular Yiddish theatre love tunes, with a bis’l swing and Yiddish scat singing. Sheyn Vi Di Le’vone – Music: Joseph Rumshinsky, Lyrics: Chayim Tauber. Bei Mir Bistu Sheyn – Music: Sholom Secunda, Lyrics: Jacob Jacobs, English bridge: based on English version, Sammy Cahn-Saul Caplin-Jacon Jacobs.

I Felt it Through the Pesach Wine
Parody of the seder, the Passover ritual dinner, using a famous Motown tune. Original music and lyrics: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, N. Whitfield, B. Strong, Additional lyrics: Neil Alexander.

Rozhinkes mit Mandlen
Popular traditional Yiddish folk lullaby. Music and lyrics: Abraham Goldfaden.

Neyer Sher/Klezmer Samba
Klezmer wedding tune with latin take-off ala Mickey Katz but with new lyrics. Part 1: Music and Lyrics: Abraham Ellstein, Part 2: Music based on “The Wedding Samba”, recorded by The Mickey Katz Orchestra, Lyrics: Neil Alexander.

Eyn Keyloheynu
Traditional Hebrew prayer done with a Mediterranean feel. Music: © Neil Alexander, Lyrics: from Sabbath (Musaf) morning prayers.

Under the Chupah
Parody of Jewish wedding using a famous Drifters’ tune. Original music and lyrics: “Under the Boardwalk”, A. Resnick, K. Young. “Under the Chupah” concept: Shlock Rock. Additional lyrics: Neil Alexander.

Sim Shalom
Traditional Hebrew prayer in a conventional liturgical style. Music: © Neil Alexander, Lyrics: from Jewish morning (Amidah) service.

Lu Y’hee
Rock ballad version of Israeli folk classic, “Let It Be”. Music and lyrics: Naomi Shemer.

Kol Dodi
Traditional Chabad devotional tune. Music: Sefer Hanigunim, Book of Chasidic (Chabad) Songs (#211), Lyrics: from Song of Songs 5:2.

Chassidic Medley
Medley of traditional “simcha” nigunim (celebratory tunes). Music part 1: Sefer Hanigunim, Book of Chasidic (Chabad) Songs (Nigun #149, #336, #333), Music part 2: Sefer Hanigunim, Book of Chasidic (Chabad) Songs (Nigun #151, #331), Music part 3: Samuel Fox, Israel Raz, Hebrew lyrics part 3: Psalms 62:2:3.

Zug Far Vus
Laid back wing version of Yiddish love tune made famous by the Barry (Begelman) sisters. Music: Sholom Secunda, Lyrics: Jacob Jacobs.

Chag Purim/Evil Haman
Traditional Hebrew folk song about the Jewish holiday of Purim, followed by Santana-esque bridge, and then parody denouncing the Purim antagonist, Haman. Haman lost his wife from unsucessfully plotting to kill the Jews in Persia. Music and lyrics part 1: Hebrew folk song, L. Kipnis, Music part 2: Neil Alexander, Music for Evil Haman: Based on “Evil Ways”, recorded by Santana, written by S. Henry, Additional lyrics for Evil Haman: Neil Alexander. Tag: from Megillat Esther 7:6 (Note: it is a Jewish custom to make noise at the mention of the name Haman.) Noisemakers: featuring the Alexander, Katz, and Scheerer All Girls Chorus.

Ki B’Simchah
Celebratory Hebrew passage done in contemporary folk style. Music: © Neil Alexander, Lyrics: Isaiah 55:12.

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