SOME HOLIDAY CHEER AS THE SIXTH CANDLE IS LIT
Though we lit a couple candles on Monday, we'd like to continue with further gems from some of our favorite musicians of Jewish heritage. Don't want anyone to think we're just "gentile" on our minds. And for those worried about ol' Saint Nick, we saluted Christmas early on Saturday. As with our other holiday reveries this week, we're all about the music and aren't trying to sway anyone towards anything. We love music made by people of all creeds, colors, nationalities, etc. Maybe not Nickelback, but even they made that evilly catchy "Rockstar", so maybe even they're alright.
We begin appropriately enough after sundown with Paul Simon in 1977.
Few artists have done more to celebrate and evolve Jewish culture than John Zorn. Here's his Masada band doing a stunning rendition of "Beeroth" in Warsaw, Poland in 1999.
Kinky Friedman knows how to get a rise out of folks better than almost anyone, and "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore" is bound to offend nearly everyone on some level. He's a living torch for free speech and we adore him.
Serious guitar nuts are probably already hip to Marc Ribot but for those not in the know, well, he's one of the greats going today. Here he is with Medeski Martin & Wood at the Umbria Jazz Festival in 2001 doing the dreamiest "Hey Joe" you ever heard.
Leonard Cohen has written eloquently about spirituality of many stripes. Perhaps it's his understanding of humanity's intrinsic weaknesses and strengths, something abundantly clear in this intimate solo performance from 1967.
Here's Mickey Hart getting to the root of things with the Global Drum Project
Jonathan Richman has a gift for getting the job done in under two minutes, as in this 1978 clip of "New England" from Top of the Pops.
Mike Bloomfield left us all too soon. The man that took us down Highway 61 and helped introduce a fiery new brand of blues to a whole generation with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was, simply put, a marvel of a player. Here's a particularly hot-shit example of the man at work. There's a happy sort of possession that takes him over about 50 seconds in.
Bob Brozman really ought to be a household name. As an interpreter and innovator of blues & folk traditions he's a genius, and he's a damn fine songwriter and picker to boot. This television segment from French TV in the early '90s provides snippets from a live show and interview clips. It's as fine and succinct an intro to a great, under-sung musician as we could find.
No JamBase salute of our favorite Jewish musicians (and this selection is FAR FAR from complete, just a taster of the myriad goodness out there) would be complete without Bob Dylan. This storming attack on "Isis" from the Rolling Thunder Tour in 1975 is one of our all-time fave live moments.