Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Shades of Green



Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Mindy


This is probably going to be a bit of an unusual review. I am going to be asking a lot of questions in the review, because as much as I claim to be a JM aficionado, I know NOTHING about music. It's okay, Nochum Segal admits to that as well :-). There are many instruments that I don't recognize and want to know what they are. And I also want to know the meaning of these various styles on the album. Therefore, as much as I will `analyze' – and I'm good at that – I will also question. And I invite anyone who can help answer this for me anyone with musical knowledge or knowledge about this album – to help me out please. Thank you.

To get the most of this album, you have to turn up the volume to the MAX. Or better yet, plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and you'll think you're at a concert. That's my favorite way of listening to Shades of Green -- BLASTING in my eardrums!

My three favorite sets: Shades of Poogy, Shades of Classical, Shades of Middle East. I love to put the tape on starting with Poogy (#4, all the way through Middle East #7.)

By the way the funniest thing is that while I was typing up this report someone who knows stuff about the album was able to answer so many of my questions so I did take out some of the things that are no longer relevant. But still…

Okay here we gooooooooooooo:

~1~

Shades of Salsa

Can someone explain to me what `salsa' is, other than a mexican spice used to season food? What makes a tune a `salsa' tune? Is it the drums, the rhythm, or the instruments used? I'm hearing guitar, saxophone, trumpet, and…. There's some string instrument I think, which I cannot identify.

First song – Shomati. May I critique? I don't know if this song, Shomati, is MEANT to be a salsa-like song. Oh sure it's nice and all, but not what we're used to hearing from Shomati.

I LOVE the way Shomati segues right into Mi Mah! The music plays the equivalent part of "Ashrei Mi…" and suddenly it's "Mi ma, l'mi as mi…"

Do you notice that although the lyrics of the entire song are on the insert, half are omitted – "K'sheyirzeh Adom… Yofo Yofo." Then, the part `til "Dehaynu" is not sung. :-)

Thank goodness I have this tape, because I NEVER understood the words to the song! I don't have My Fellow Jew.

I just noted the source of the words: "Tiferes Yisroel, B'Hakdomo L'Seder Kodoshim". Whoa, a sefer – not the gemara, not nach, not chumah, not siddur…. But a sefer. Have any of you ever thought of opening the "Tiferes Yisroel" to come up with a catchy song? Totally a Green thing…

Obviously some of you see that this song set is not my favorite set. Maybe I like duck sauce better than salsa? ;-)

~2~

Shades of Disco

I LOVE the intro to this song. It starts with some sort of guitar – I think. PLEASE correct me, b/c I don't know my percussions, woodwinds, and strings. Never went to music school.

Daagah Minayin – that's the way Daagah Minayin oughtta have sounded in the first place! Luscious! Trumpets, saxes – and oh, I finally heard a flute! Very rich sound.

The song is sung very well as well – and I noted the source as well –"R' Avraham Ibn Ezra" – once again not your typical source for JM music…

Rotzoh… Dedi's first major hit, if I'm correct. Once again the entire mishnah is in the insert but only half of the song is sung. SO WHAT IS THAT INSTRUMENT I'M HEARING? Kinda like a guitar but I don't know what it is… (a little before the vocals start). I love the end of the low part, where the drums become very intense and the vocals get very intense as well. It ends off with a flair and flash of trumpets.

~3~

Shades of Mellow Jazz

Now, what is mellow jazz? The song starts off with some piano playing, then some saxophones. I guess jazz means a lot of trumpets and saxes? No clue… Help me please… lol. Is that another acoustic guitar? I GIVE UP. I'll never know my instruments!

Elokai Neshomo – it was one of my favorite Dedi songs when it came out. The choir sounds amazing here. Whatever mellow jazz is, the orchestra, whoever they are, do a marvelous job and I'm feeling very mellow right now. Oi oi oi oi, neshomeleh, tehoiro hee….

V'Shov Shenis. Now, can someone please help me with this song? The tune seems to me to be the one from "Giants Shoulders" but there are loshon kodesh lyrics to it. Am I confusing two things? Does anyone know where this song appeared first? I like this song very much – it flows very smoothly. But I'm not such a mellow jazz fan. My favorite set comes next….. aaaaaaaaah!

~ 4~

Shades of Poogy!

Had Gail not mentioned this mysterious Poogy in one of her first posts, I'd have no clue what Poogy is (and I still don't) – but whatever it is, I LOVE it! It seems to me that the Poogy style is a bunch of different string instruments – Im hearing a few kinds of guitars, banjos, etc. here. Someone help me! Tell me what those instruments are that Im hearing. Are those electric guitars, or what other `pluck me' instruments? I told you, I know ZILCH about music – except for carrying a tune and instantly playing it on the keyboard (with one hand), I cannot say boo about music.

This song is my FAVORITE song off the ENTIRE TAPE. It is sung with a lot of feeling. And the instrumental is SUPERB. The only complaint I have, is that the song is sung only ONCE. I'd have loved to hear it a few times.

"Al Kol Rega, V'Rega SheOdom Chosim piv…" After the song is sung, there is a VERY interesting instrument which plays the interlude. Can anyone tell me what instrument this is? I like it very much. The drum is also superb. I like the `poogy sound'! lol

There is also an empathetic, "OOH!" in the middle of the interlude. I like that one. Ha ha.

I love the high part as well. There's a `too too too too' and then the `nanananana al kol rega v'rega'. Wow! Why is this such an underrated song? I do not recall ever having heard this in my life, although Perel says it's off MBD's Ein Od Milvado. I'll have to check it out myself.

The music segues very well into Adon Olam. I was thrilled to have this song on a heimishe tape, since obviously I wouldn't buy a Kol Achai album. I have a li'l question here… has Yossi mixed up his chasidish and litvish accents while substituting the Sefardi accent? Cuz he sings "V'Achariy" the chasidish way instead of "V'Acharay". Or is there two ways that these words can be pronounced? According to the best of recollection, the famous Miami song says it "V'Acharey."

Okay, next….

~5~

Shades of Classical

Ever heard chassidic classical music? I haven't. You're in for a treat. Turn up the volume and you'll be transported to a far, far away place, where there are no troubles to be had. According to a caller on Jm in the AM, the pianist is Yaron Gershovsky, but his name is not mentioned in the credits (neither are any of the other musicans credited, which irks me!!! Lol) So can someone tell me what makes a pianist better than another one? Doesn't everyone follow musical notes and sheet music the way they're supposed to be played? What makes one better than the next? Why is Yaron so much better than all others?

Okay now I have a second question. There is an instrument which I've always wanted to know what it's called. It's a very loud, screechy, soprano kinda instrument. It sounds like a very loud violin but not as squeaky. It's very widely used in classical pieces. Here, in this particular song, K'Ayol Taarog, you'll find it right at the beginning of the high part. Can someone tell me what that instrument is called? I always wanted to know.

This set is something amazing. I have never quite heard something like it. The piano, the trumpets, the violins – amazing.

Kol B'Rama!!!! Yossi's FIRST composition… the song which gives EVERYONE the chills. The classical interpretation of this timeless song is a true masterpiece. Especially the lively end part of it, where Perel says the pianist does a Nutcracker piece. Never having heard the Nutcracker, I'll take her word for it, but it IS truly beautiful. This entire piece makes you think you're at he Metropolitan Opera House while a 100 piece Symphony is playing a Beethoven or a concerto. OMIGOSH I AM TOTALLY MIXING UP MY TERMINOLOGY – I sound like the proverbial am haaretz.

Anyhow… on to ….

~6~

Shades of Techno

Hmmmmm… what makes this set sound techno? Is it just the drums? Doesn't sound amazingly techno to me. The instruments don't send electronic – they sound genuine. It's a nice lively combination of two rocky songs. The intro begins with that sound that annoys me cuz I cant figure out what it is! Well this time it's electronic music so there's no telling what it is, but I find the intro really beautiful and haunting. Okay, here goes Dedi's Od, od Yishoma…

This is the set with the `additional voices' – I only hear Yossi though :-)

One thing I find interesting here – although Dedi sang `chusson mazel tov' – the chasidishe way, yossi does it `choson choson', the litvishe way.

And in Hinei Mah Tov, he sings it a bit differently than on the Ohel concert, but I like it this way a LOT better!!! It's not `sheves achim gam gam gam yochad' but SheVES achim gam yochad. I never knew that Yossi composed this amazing tune!

I love the end of the music – Od Yishoma is interspersed with Hinei Mah tov, all at once.

~7~

Shades of Middle East

This is Nachum Segal's favorite set. And it's my second favorite too. The music just carries you higher and higher. Now can someone tell me what's `middle eastern' music? I understand it's sephardic music and I hear flutes and a mandolin, but there is SOMETHING about this set which makes it so intriguing – middle eastern!

I LOVE the second song – LaKol Z'man. It's done so well. This set is just amazing – I cant find another word for it!!! It's just so loud, lively, and reverberating – put it on and you'll start jumping up and down and won't be able to stop. Nachum plays it a lot on his shows.

~8~

Shades of Wedding Band

I don't have anything special to say to this other then that it's a very lively and enjoyable set.

~9~

Shades of Pop

Now what on earth is POP? This is a slow medley, nice saxophone and piano work – and wahts that LOUD instrument again? Is it a violin? A cello? No clue!!

Nice soft slow music.

~10~

Shades of Reggae

So if I never knew what reggae is, I found out now – not very hard to figure out. Probably it's the type of beat this set has, and a bunch of saxophones.

I always loved Mendy Wald's Al Tomar and I feel it's a very underrated song and I'm glad it made it to a popular tape.

NOW – can anyone tell me where the Mi SheOso Nissim song appeared? I have NEVER heard it in my life and I love it but have no clue where it's from!!!!! Or is this a new song? Never heard it before. Its so cute! Chaverim, chaverim, kol yisroel, YOH! Lol! Very cute song….

~11~

Shades of Unplugged

What on earth is `unplugged'? Two very nice slow songs. As you can see, I like the lively medleys a lot more. A lot of violin I think, and I love violin, so it's pretty good.

~12~

Shades of Big Band

What's a big band? No clue…

Odom Doeg and… Lend Us Your Imagination… (a cue for all Oded and Miami fans to go crazy cuz Miami performed with Von Tippish and Baron Pirogen and everyone else on Hasc 7… lol)

Okay so ends this informal, funny, backstabbing review and questions and comments on Shades of Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. Writing this has exhausted me!!!

~ Mindy

***
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5 Comments:

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April 17, 2006 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Berish said...

You could get the answers to most of your questions by searching wikipedia.

December 28, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Yehuda said...

Mindy,
The opening sound for the disco set is a clavinet, a type of keyboard used often in rock and funk music. You gotta admit it can sound really good!
On the Poogy track, the electric guitar duet is probably what's confusing you. "Poogy" was the nickname for a famous Israeli group "kaveret" which hybridized rock and disco to come up with this style...
The first interlude sound synthesizer harmonica, and the second sound (really electronic sounding) is plain synthesizer square lead with added reverb.
The unknown instrument on the classical and pop tracks is just a string section...give yourself a bop n the head for not knowing THAT...

March 4, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

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