Monday, October 8, 2007

Sophie Milman - Jazz Canadian Russian Israeli

Sophie Milman in Jewish MagazineMy wife and I had National Public Radio on for background noise this weekend (though, why, with two kids, we think we need background noise I'll never know) when an interview with jazz singer Sophie Milman came on. Milman is an interviewer's dream. She's got the requisite amazing history (born in Russia, moved to Israel and then Canada, a (not quite) debut album, and a big buzz working for her. And she has that kind of deep warm buttery toast voice that had earlier generations of jazz fans falling in love with Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney, and Dinah Washington. My wife was blissing out to her singing in general, but snapped out of her reverie long enough to grab me away from the sink when Milman launched into a jazz arrangement of the Israeli Jewish standard Eli, Eli.

Eli, Eli was poem written by the poet Hannah Senesh in 1942 in Israel, before she volunteer to parachute into Yugoslovia to help Jews escape. She was executed by the Germans in Hungary in 1944. Eli Eli, with music by David Zehavi, is a powerhouse of a song and has become a classic Shabbat z'mirot.

"O Lord, my God, I pray that these things shall never end.
The sand and the sea,
the rush of the waters,
the crash of the heavens,
the prayer of man."

Milman's take on Eli, Eli may miss a bit of the fervor I've heard in other arrangements, but the slow measured pace picks up a wonderful sense of longing that more than makes up for it.

You can listen to Milman's recording of Eli, Eli at her myspace page and read more about her at her home page. Here album, "Make Someone Happy" is available through Amazon or your favorite music store. And check out this George Robinson Jewish Week article and interview with her.

"In Canada, I’m Jewish first, Israeli second. When people start on the Jews, that’s when I get very Jewish. Obviously I’m Israeli whenever I turn on the news. I’m Canadian when I’m in the United States. I am a collection of all these things..."


Anonymous said...

pretty sad
Canada should always come first,
but I see through the fog!
control will be your demise!

Jack said...

grin. it sure will.

Anonymous said...

blond .... blue eyes..... beautifull ...... JEWISH.....hhahahahahahahahah............



jewish looks like a palestinian people or arabs.... not . blondes.....hahaha.... she is a russian girl...... just it !!!!

Jack said...

ah, the cleverness of the interwebs. Such wisdom.

Sorry buster, Jews come in every size, shape and hair color.