Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pioneers for a Cure: The Israel Sessions Volume 1

I'm sitting in San Diego, in a hotel overlooking the bay, listening for the dozenth time to Pioneers for a Cure: The Israel Sessions Volume 1. I'm a sucker for compilation discs. It's like getting a great radio show on one CD. In variably I fall for bands I'd never heard of and probably wouldn't have. Right now Uri Miles is crooning and playing pipes over a gentle rhythm that is both Matti Caspi lounge, Celtic drone and Mizrachi wailing at the same time. Odd but beautiful.

Pioneers for a cure is a charity compilation that trading up and coming musicians exposure for an opportunity to raise money for cancer research. The Israel Sessions is the second phase of the project. The first phase, produced by one of my favorite musicians Rabbi Greg Wall (of Hasidic New Wave and the Later Prophets) featured a wonderful cross section of contemporary Jewish music. This phase focuses on Israel music and other than an inclusion Greg Wall's Later Prophets is full of artists I don't know. Great fun and great music, gentle pop and driving rock, Israeli folk and art music. I think the Later Prophets and the Uri Miles tracks are my favorites, but there's not a dull track in the set.

Here's Greg Wall's Later Prophets Featuring Shai Bachar and Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein, playing Sobu Tzion live in Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem, August 24, 2009. A studio version is part of the Israeli Sessions.

To get in on Pioneers, check out tracks yourself. Donate and download the tracks you like. Only the first 5 tracks of the collection are up on the site, but the rest are coming soon. And while you're there, check out the songs from the first phase. They're all still available and just as great. They include tracks by Teruah favorites David Broza, Y-Love, Stereo Sinai, Sway Machinery, and Adrienne Cooper, just to name a few.

Here's a short video article on Pioneers for a Cure. It was made at the time of the first set of songs, not the current set, but it will give you the right idea.

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