Wednesday, July 26
Ofra Haza – Fifty Gates Of Wisdom (Yemenite Songs) (1987)
"Ofra Haza's death on February 23, 2000, at the age of 41 deprived the world of a lovely woman, a great vocalist, and a fearless cultural advocate. Fifty Gates of Wisdom, her 1985 album of boldly reimagined traditional Yemenite songs, brought her international fame, and decades later, it retains its ability to delight and inspire. The set list consists of secular tunes plus examples of a festive devotional style called diwan, which is common to all Oriental Jewish communities and can be sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic. Each group has specific traditions, but the Yemeni variant is especially remarkable for its poetry, much of which was written by rabbis as far back as the 17th century. Most diwan consist of three separate sections: the a cappella nashid (prelude), the shira (singing), during which celebrants bang on copper trays, empty gasoline cans, or whatever else is handy, and a postlude called the hallel, or song of praise. The unusual percussion accompaniment came into use following the destruction of the Temple, when Jews were forbidden to play conventional musical instruments, and also as a result of periodic oppression by Muslim fundamentalists. ..."
YouTube: Im Nin'Alu at Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, Friday, July 13, 1990
YouTube: Im Nin' Alu, Lefelach harimon, Ayelet Chen, Tzur Menti Se'i Yona Sapri Tama, Galbi, Ode le'eli , Yachilvi Veyachali, A'salk