|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Yasmin Levy – Sentir
CD Review by John Williams
Yasmin Levy is an Israeli singer/songwriter who specialises in Judaeo-Spanish music.
She comes from a long line of Jewish composers and cantors.
Her stated aim is to combine Ladino music with flamenco while mixing Middle-Eastern influences.
As she states: “I am embarking on a 500-year-old musical journey, taking Ladino to Andalusia and mixing it with flamenco, the style that still bears the musical memories of the old Moorish and Jewish – Spanish world with the sound of the Arab world.”
In a way, it is a ‘musical reconciliation’ of history.”
Yasmin’s voice is unique and she is accompanied throughout by an amazing backing comprising both modern and traditional instruments.
Guitar features as you would expect with Javier Limon to the fore with his flamenco style.
The cover notes list a long group of musicians and backing singers on individual tracks which are too numerous to fit in a short review.
The major backing musicians are the previously-mentioned Limon accompanied by Charlie Mendes (bass), Sonny Pasos (keyboards), Jose Vargas (percussion), Abdul Sharif (bouzouki), Carlitos Sarduy (trumpet) and Amir Shasar (ney and clarinet).
The songs range from traditional to several composed by Yasmin herself and a couple by other composers.
The cover notes give English, Spanish and French translations to the words which I found handy.
I liked the contemporary feel Yasmin gives to the music, especially some of the more traditional Ladino pieces such as ‘Alfonsita’, ‘Jaco’, ‘Una Pastora, ‘Landje de Mi’ and ‘Mi Korason’.
I found her version of one of my favourites – Jewish classics – to be an interesting interpretation (Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’).
The traditional prayer, ‘Yigdal’, is a beautiful piece of singing and quite moving in style and is a fine way to finish the CD.
This CD will certainly appeal to anyone who likes World Music presented in a Middle-Eastern style.
In fact, the prestigious ‘Sunday Times’ named it one its top 10 albums for 2009 while ‘The Guardian’ described Yasmin Levy as “The next World Music superstar”.
Who am I to disagree.
2 in stock (can be backordered)