KOL B'SEDER: A LEGENDARY JEWISH-AMERICAN MUSIC DUO
They helped define a spiritual search for a generation of Jews, thus launching a new era in Jewish-American music. They wrote (and performed) songs that are now standards in synagogues around the world. Kol B'Seder, the legendary folk/pop/jazz/rock duo of Cantor Jeff Klepper and Rabbi Dan Freelander, has released Snapshots: The Best of Kol B'Seder, Vol. 1, a CD compilation of some of their greatest hits, including a new recording of Shalom Rav, a beloved tune that has made its way into many Reform Jewish services and celebrated its 30th "birthday" in 2004.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Klepper and Freelander, then song leaders in the Reform youth movement, composed some of the first contemporary Jewish-American song "hits," infused with the musical spirit of their generation. Their style blended Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Simon and Garfunkel, Motown and other new sounds with the fervor of Israeli and Chassidic song and the melodic and harmonic sophistication of the Beatles. Combine that with a deep commitment to spirituality and renewing the worship experience, and you have a potent mix of music that moved thousands to sing and pray.
Snapshots contains some of Kol B'Seder's best known and most influential songs, including six previously unreleased tracks, plus archival clips from their earliest years, which makes the CD a true collectors item. For the CD, Klepper unearthed a recording made by the pair as they composed Shalom Rav thirty years ago (secret: it's a hidden track) and a long forgotten radio interview with the duo in their early days. Included are: Lo Alecha, In Every Generation, Modeh Ani, Or Zarua, Oseh Shalom, Ma Tovu and many more, 19 songs in all plus extras.
Today, Jeff Klepper is Cantor at Temple Sinai in Sharon, MA, teaching and performing as a solo artist in addition to Kol B'seder. Dan Freelander is Vice President for the Union for Reform Judaism, and is active in the many worlds of Jewish music.
The pair reunited recently for a concert at Temple Sinai in celebration of Shalom Rav's anniversary and their CD release. The concert featured nearly a dozen Boston-area friends and colleagues who performed with the duo. "On this big anniversary of Shalom Rav, I thought it was important to play a concert in the place we started out," Klepper said, noting that many of Kol B'Seder's most popular musical hits were composed in the Boston area. "Our goal is to bring people together in joy and spirit. We're not stopping now."