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Israeli A Cappella

A glance at the growing Israeli a cappella scene.

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167: James Blake, ‘Lindisfarne’

James Blake is the boy from the haunted house next door – Bela Lugosi’s visiting nephew. Haunting ain’t the word. He possesses you. Beacon don’t fly too high.

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164: Bob Dylan, ‘Tangled Up in Blue’

Bob Dylan at his best. It don’t get no better than that.

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161, The Swingle Singers, ‘Sinfonia from Partita No.2 in C Minor’

The 2013 Swingle Singers are great. The 1963 Swingle Singers weren’t bad, either. (Caution: This posting contains a clip of Glenn Gould practicing which may not be suitable for younger audiences.)

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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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144: Fleet Foxes, ‘Montezuma’

In which Jeff philosophizes about life, music festivals, old age, and jingoism; writes an advice column together with an Aztec king; and enjoys the indie band Fleet Foxes.

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143: Christian McBride, ‘Killer Joe’ (Red Sea Jazz Festival, 2012)

Jazz isn’t all atonal and brainy and inaccessible. It is more often fun and intelligent and wise and witty and playful and passionate, and open to anyone who is willing to expose himself. It’s that wonderful place which presents you with the present of the present. Christian McBride at The Red Sea Jazz Festival last week: “Rarely do you see this anywhere else in the world, but we saw teenagers dancing to jazz, moving, screaming, running up to the stage. You guys made me feel like Paul McCartney last night. We love your enthusiasm.” Yet jazz is also a place where young people learn respect for The Tradition.

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142: Kat Edmonson, ‘Champagne’

It’s disconcerting when a 28-year old writes Cole Porter songs, or when her cover of a Lennon song outshines the original. Come meet Kat Edmonson, who’s been monopolizing my turntable for the past month.

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