Saints & Tzadiks - Susan McKeown, Lorin Sklamberg
On SAINTS & TZADIKS, Irish-born singer SUSAN McKEOWN and THE KLEZMATICS’ New York-based lead vocalist LORIN SKLAMBERG consolidate the cross-cultural collaboration begun on Wonder Wheel (2006), which garnered a GRAMMY for «Best Contemporary World Music Album.» While delving impartially into rare Yiddish material (primarily culled from the Ruth Rubin Archive) and a vivid array of folkloric and popular Irish sources, alternating between languages and traditions with comradely and seemingly effortless relish, McKeown’s angelic yet richly sensual alto and Sklamberg’s plaintive, protean tenor are backed by an extraordinarily versatile team of musicians. The handpicked set offers Irish and Jewish tales of human and divine passion; guitar, fiddle and accordion-laced dances, dirges, romances, discourses, plaints and comedies. These are expressed through various combinations gleaned from Jewish mysticism (a tzadik is a righteous person with an especially potent connection to the deity), ancient Gaelic sean nós (a famously demanding unaccompanied vocal style), early 20th century Yiddish vaudeville, and even Argentine tangos, some of which also use playful macaronic or cumulative lyric structures.
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