See "Vilna" video ( song from the CD) on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnAstY693Ik
I love that album, especially the reggae cut ( A Shtekele) and the title song. Very diverse in it's scope. Brilliant.
Author: Cocinando! Forty Years of Latin Album Cover Art
Producer: Rough Guide to Salsa Clandestina
Top Ten Records of the Year (2007)
One World Radio
University of Connecticut @ Storrs
Yiddish World Fusion Music
The Eternal Question (Di Alte Kashe) presents thirteen Yiddish songs in musical settings that deftly shuffle time and space, each one evoking a different world. Drawing from folk and popular sources, accompanied by New England honky-tonk heroes The Lonesome Brothers and friends old and new from across the musical spectrum, Katz forges a unique sound, lovingly and skillfully built on traditional foundations, yet boldly and effortlessly incorporating new sonic architecture and color. Musical flavors include country-swing, soul, tango, jazz, blues, traditional -- and more.
Note: Includes 24-page booklet with Yiddish text, transliterations, English translations, songwriter bios.
A Yiddish teacher, translator and performer of long experience, Fraidy Katz
presently performs with Connecticut-based The Klezical Tradition. She holds advanced degrees from the University of MInnesota and Brandeis University and is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar.
Katz appears on The Klezical Tradition's "Family Portrait" and on co-producer Wolf Krakowski's CDs, "Transmigrations: Gilgul" and "Goyrl: Destiny," (both Tzadik Records) and Unbounded (Kame'a Media).
FOUR and a Half Stars -- George Robinson, (New York) The Jewish Week
Seth Rogovoy, author The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music:
"The long-awaited recording featuring the vocals of one of our finest contemporary Yiddish singers, Fraidy Katz, has finally arrived, and it was worth every minute of the wait. "The Eternal Question" (Di Alte Kashe) feature's a baker's dozen Yiddish folk and popular tunes recontextualized for modern times; Old World ballads are draped in accordion, pipes, tsimbl and violin, in a peaceful coexistence alongside electric guitars, trumpets and saxophones. As co-producer Wolf Krakowski has explored on his own albums that boast a similar approach and with the same core band, the fabulous Lonesome Brothers, there is a natural affinity between Yiddish popular songs and such quintessentially American styles as blues, reggae, jazz and even country swing, and Katz exploits this affinity in a manner that at once showcases her intuitive grasp of the songs' roots while at the same time effortlessly making them speak to contemporary audiences. Had there been no Shoah, this is undoubtedly the direction in which Yiddish popular song would have evolved and the music that a vast majority of what would have been a large, Yiddish-speaking world would have been listening to today. It is our good fortune to have it re-created by such a sterling talent as Fraidy Katz."
Zelda Shluker, Hadassah Magazine, August/September 2007:
"Traditional poems and melodies by Mani Leib, Mordkhe Gebirtig and other 20th-century Yiddish writers are sung by the passionate Fraidy Katz with clarity. The philosophy is haymish “be a mensch because Money...travels/ today it ís with me/ and tomorrow with you....” and reflects harsh realities. Amid the songs of sorrow are songs of love, played with contemporary rhythms by the Lonesome Brothers on steel guitar and drums, an unusual harmony of sounds."
Yankl Falk, Di Naye Kapelye and host of "The Yiddish Hour," KBOO-FM, Portland, OR:
"One of the most important new Yiddish CDs in recent years. Wonderful material, lots of surprises . . ."
Barry Reisman, WNWR-AM, Philadelphia, PA:
"After I heard it, I immediately started to use it on the air. Judging from the listener phone calls, it is an instant hit! The timeless melodies flawlessly performed make the CD a wonderful new addition to my playlist, and I'll be playing it frequently on my daily klezmer/Jewish music program."
Association of Jewish Libraries:
". . . Fraidy Katz is gifted with a clear, warm voice and clear easy-to-understand diction. The innovative modern arrangements of the songs inject them with new rhythms . . . A valuable addition to Jewish folk music collections in private, public and academic libraries. Appropriate for all ages."