This is the album that Brooklyn-based Basya Schechter was born to make - reverent, intelligeng and exciting settings to classic jewish liturgy and folksongs with superb backing by her own band and a distinguished group of guests including producer, Anthony Coleman and Matt Darriau.
From a haunting "Hevel" through a niggun created from a West African Melody, from an eerie "Eicha" through the best new "Lecha Dodi" I've heard in years, a powerhouse Shnirele Perele, "Ija Mia" a wonderful Ladino closing - well, there simply isn't a false step. A bona fide, genuine, gilt-edged masterpiece. ***** (George Robinson, Jewish Week.)
Pharaoh's Daughter was formed by Basya Schechter after returning from Morocco in the spring of 1995. It was after a series of trips to the Middle East Africa which included Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Kurdistan and Greece.
Inspired by these new cultures, she began playing her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic Oud and a Turkish Saz, in doing so she created a brand of music that combines her religious spiritual music background (growing up in Hasidic Boro Park)world beat, and the intense lyrical detail of a pop singer-songwriter.
Pharaoh's Daughter has been building their following in New York, in clubs like the Knitting Factory, Makor, Living Room and Tonic. In May 2000 she completed a monthlong European Tour with percussionist, Jarrod Cagwin, which inlcuded Germany, Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In June 2000 the band was invited to perform in Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank of London as part of a weeklong UK mini Tour in the Tenth London BIannual Jewish Music Festival. In June 2000 they performed to 6,000 people in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park as part of 25th annual Anuual Yiddish Music Festival, as well as headlining at Symphony Space in a benefit concert for low income housing. They have been featured on channels 7,13, and NY 1 as part of a documentar on ABC called "Sacred Noises" about new Jewish music. The tour regular in Jewish Music festivals on the West Coast, and are invited to perform in Munich, Germany in November. They are currently working on their third album, which should be coming out in December.
Current members include Benoir-electric guitar, Dapha Mor- recorders and cornermuse, Tomer Tzur-drums/percussion, Lisa Mezzacappa-upright bass, Kemal Arsan-Indian Drums(hadgini, hadgira.