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109: Daniel Zamir, ‘Shir HaShomer’

Why does free jazz/Chabad soprano saxophonist Daniel Zamir draw materials from an old Israeli song glorifying a watchman from the 1930s? Why is today’s Israeli jazz a natural, organic expression of early Zionist settlement? Why is Jeff calling a 21-year old drummer a genius? The answer to these and many more questions in Song of The Week.

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135: Kaveret, ‘Medina Ktana’ (Little Country)

It’s Israel’s 70th birthday today. We get pretty tired of seeing ourselves on the front page of the NY Times every day. On the other hand, we also see ourselves as the center of the universe. Go explain it. Well, this 1974 song does it best – our wry perception of our very existence, our precariousness, our homey patriotism – ‘Medina Ktana’ (‘Little Country’) by Kaveret (Beehive).

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102: Netanela, ‘Shir HaYona’ (Matti Caspi)

In 1974, while working with an IDF entertainment troupe as his reserve duty, 25 year-old composer/singer Matti Caspi discovered the 19 year-old singer/soldier Netanela. He composed ‘Shir HaYona’ (Song of the Dove) for her, a secular peace prayer which still resonates today.

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228: Roger Treece, Achinoam Nini (Noa)/Gil Dor, Vocalocity — ‘Zeh Po, Zeh Mugan’

I had a dream–that Roger Treece, the mad genius of modern choral music would join up with Israel’s amazing virtuoso singer Achinoam Nini (Noa) and with my 40-voice vocal orchestra Vocalocity, to make a kind of music that’s never been made before.
Incredibly enough, sometimes dreams come true.

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154: Laura Nyro, ‘Save the Country’

And yet again my city is being bombarded by Hamas missiles, half a dozen since last night. Thanks to the IDF’s Iron Dome for watching over me physically and to Laura for watching over me spiritually.

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184: Arik Einstein, ‘Ruach Stav’ (‘Autumn Breeze’)

Arik Einstein died this week. You can’t talk about him without talking about our brand-new little old-fashioned country with its oh-so-long history, its pain, its optimism and its cynicism, its utter belief in itself and its vehement denial of that belief.

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150: Matti Caspi, ‘Not Good, A Man Being Alone’

Did you know that God created Womb-Man as “a help against” her Man? Here Matti Caspi dons a white tux, sits down at a white grand piano in a cowshed, and serenades a very fetching Elsie in the funniest video I’ve ever seen.

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