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David Chevan with Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi & the Afro-Semitic Experience: Yizkor: Music of Memory

Yizkor might not be the first album to combine jazz and Jewish music, but it’s probably the first set of Jewish cantorial music to feature resonator guitar among the instrumentation. The pliable notes and tone of the instrument fit with the music, which combines traditional Hazzanut melodies with a droning accompaniment and grooves from multiple percussionists.

Bassist David Chevan composed these six pieces using text from various Psalms. The music doesn’t typically follow a vocalist-soloist pattern of straight jazz, opting instead for one where Alberto Mizrahi’s vocals stand together with Will Bartlett’s reeds. In a sense, the cantor’s performance works like another instrument and makes the accompanying translations optional.

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