"Shaatnez" - Ruth Yaakov Ensemble
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- Artist:Ruth Yaakov Ensemble
- release year:1998
- catalogue number PIR1255
It need not always be klezmer. The Israeli singer Ruth Yaakov and her international ensemble have dedicated themselves to the music of the Sephardic Jews who made their home on the Iberian peninsula before, together with the last of the Moors, being banished into exile by the Catholic conquerors during the Middle Ages. The Sephardic music culture, which has affinities with the Islamic tradition, is an assimilation of the former Moorish influences with elements from the new domiciles in Greece and Turkey. The elegance of Greek and Turkish folklore is interwoven with Arab note sequences, while driving percussion combines with the melancholy of Balkan music. The group, which takes its name from its Israeli singer and leader, embodies cultural openness through the ethnic mix of its members. With strongly expressive singing and a multitude of melodic styles the Ruth Yaakov Ensemble delves deep into a culture that knows no boundaries: the culture of the Sephardic Jews.
" A sensuous Arabic-Jewish sound that evokes thousands of years of Jewish culture in the world, and thousands of years of lovers meeting and loving, marrying, and living. It's a lot to pack into an album. It does make for exciting music, music that compels listening, but that also makes one impatient with listening and ready to burst, as Amichai once wrote, out into the world, again.Ari Davidow, klezmershack.com