Excerpts from Jews and Jazz by Charles Hersch


“Shapiro truly mixes jazz and Jewish liturgical music evoking both kinds of music while bringing out similarities and making connections. “Aitz Chaim He” is a good example of such interconnections. Shapiro’s accomplishment is that he stays with the harmony and the mood of the song while soloing in a contemporary jazz idiom”.

Chapter 6

This chapter examines “Jewish jazz”— attempts to combine “Jewish music” and jazz into a new genre. With beginnings in 1930s “Yiddish Swing” and 1960s albums by Shelly Manne and Terry Gibbs, the movement blossomed in the 1990s. Albums by John Zorn, Steven Bernstein, Paul Shapiro, and others attempted to explore and expand modern American Jewish identity. At its best, Jewish jazz both affirmed Jewishness and revealed connections with African Americans, with whom Jews have shared a diasporic, urban American culture.

Hersch, Charles B (10/14/2016)

Jews and Jazz: Improvising Ethnicity

Taylor and Francis  Kindle Edition