Kona's Traveling Jewish Wedding Band : Shaloha Oy
SHALOHA FRIENDS AND FANS, This is such a mature, well-played, enjoyable survey of my favorite Jewish wedding music that I can't stop kvelling. The band breaks no new ground (unless one considers the somewhat fused Hawaiian slack key guitar intro to 'Shaloha Oy'), but it sounds just like the Jewish band you'd like to have had (or would like to go to Hawaii to enjoy) at your wedding. Towards that end, the band plays not only klezmer, but the popular Israeli song 'Erev shel shoshanim' as well as Second Avenue Theatre classics such as 'Romania, Romania' and 'Rozhenkes mit mandlen' and possibly the only contemporary recording of the wedding essential, 'Hava Nagila.' (Okay, on our wedding, we happen to have forbidden the band from accepting requests for that song, or for anything from 'Fiddler on the Roof'-but we seem to be near-unique in this regard.) This recording contains nothing from 'Fiddler on the Roof', and likewise avoids 'Miserlou' (substituting instead the bawdy 'Garsona'). The band includes several tunes played through the wedding ceremony, 'Iti Milvanon' (the bride enters the chuppah) and 'Od Y'Shama' (from the Seven Blessings)-especially notable for the best French horn I've heard since the intro to 'Tommy', a 'Wedding Medley'; even the 'Anniversary Song' composed by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin. In place of 'Nigun Atik,' the band includes the similar, but more swinging, 'Der Rebbe Haht Geheisen Freilach Zein'. In short, a collection of favorites, lovingly and well-played. Not a bad thing to find in Hawaii. Enjoy. Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 7/3/04 Kona's Traveling Jewish Wedding Band, Hawaii's greatest (and only) Klezmer ensemble, announces the release of our new and exciting CD: m SHALOHA OY. You will enjoy this eleven-piece ensemble's stirring renditions of fifteen favorite melodies. From a Klezmerized Hawaiian classic, to a heart opening Yiddish lullaby, to two deliciously rowdy European favorites, these selections are guaranteed to bring you joy. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the universal Shaloha spirit of this great Band's tunes! This music is better than matzo ball soup! Mickey Hart Recorded on the shores of Kealakekua Bay and mastered at the Grateful Dead Studios in San Rafael, California, the songs include: 1. Wedding Medley (Chussen Kalle Mazel Tov, Simen Tov und Mazel Tov, Shmulkie's Nigun, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem) - The bridal couple is hoisted aloft. 2. Erev Shel Shoshanim - Evening of Roses, a love song to the bride. 3. Rumania, Rumania - The classic Yiddish favorite in grand style. 4. Tzaveh - A stately dance. 5. Garsona - Greek song about a sleazy waitress. 6. Freilach Zein - Gets the alte kokkers dancing. 7. Od Y'Shama - From the Seven Blessings of the wedding ceremony. 8. Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen - Raisins, Almonds, a sweet lullaby. 9. Iti Milvanon - The bride enters the chuppah. 10. Anniversary Song - Romantic waltz. 11. Hava Nagilah - The ultimate hora. 12. Shaloha Oy - Klezmer variation of the Hawaiian classic. Who is Kona's Traveling Jewish Wedding Band? The musicians include: Matt Binder: guitar, recorder; Barry Blum: musical director, contra-bass balalaika; Gloria Itman Blum: vocal, tambourine; Morty Breier: congas; Roz Cohen: vocal; Joel Gimpel: violin; Jonathan Marmelzat: clarinet, guitar, tambourine; Ahti Mohala: clarinet, soprano sax, Hawaiian steel guitar; Judy Flowers Olson: keyboard; Orrin Olson: French horn; Clark Welsh: balalaika, bouzouki, domra, halil, alto sax, taragot.