HERB featured on new Shout! Factory CD coming out 6/8

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Hi everyone,

Just spotted this today.......

Since I’ve been in the record business, I’ve had a vision of bringing the Jewish Songbook to life on a recording. A few years ago I met Richard Foos and David McLees, two fellow travelers who loved the idea, and it’s that idea that we present to you now. This CD is a collection of heart and humor, combining outstanding contemporary Jewish recording artists performing and singing some of the world's greatest Jewish songs. -Brooks Arthur

On June 3, 2008, Shout! Factory will release The Jewish Songbook The Heart And Humor Of A People, an album including classic Jewish songs newly performed by some of today’s top Jewish stars. Produced by legendary producer Brooks Arthur (Janis Ian, Bette Midler, Jackie Mason, Adam Sandler), the record is at once musical and comedic, and wholeheartedly documents the creative richness of Jewish culture. A portion of the album’s proceeds will directly benefit The Jewish Federation with all the artists individually donating at least 50% of their royalties, and Shout! Factory/JMG making a matching contribution. Interviews with select artists are available upon request.

Over the course of the past 10 years, Brooks Arthur dreamt of assembling a contemporary collection of quintessential Jewish songs from his childhood upbringing in Brooklyn, NY. A multiple Grammy winner himself, and having worked closely with some of the most prolific Jewish artists of the last several decades, Arthur saw it vital to capture the heart of the Jewish community through the art of song. Music has always played a fundamental role within Jewish culture, whether it be singing along with family at home and synagogue, appearing in productions at the local NYC theaters, or making its way to Broadway. The Jewish Songbook The Heart And Humor Of A People highlights both age-old traditional songs and modern-day compositions celebrating the radiant culture via artists very much embracing their own Jewish roots.

Arthur comments, When I was a young kid, singing in the casino at Greenhut Park in New Jersey on Saturday nights, my family and friends would request that I sing a Yiddish song called Where Can I Go? That experience, that song, and listening to a small Yiddish/Hebrew radio station in New York, WEVD, had a never-ending influence on me. It’s as if every song they played, every song that my grandparents and my Mom and Dad taught me from the Jewish songbook, somehow miraculously replaced my bone marrow with Yiddish song marrow.

The Jewish Songbook features several unprecedented collaborations including Late Night bandleaders Paul Shaffer and Max Weinberg appearing for the first time on the same recording effort. It also has Lainie Kazan, the understudy for Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl, and Streisand on the same album for the first time. As the album swings and sways intertwining heartfelt songs and fall-out-of-your-chair comedy renditions, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer kick it off with their soaring vocal harmonies and infectious bebop. A beautiful historic reference to one of the early 20th century Jewish trades, Utt-A-Zay exquisitely tells the story of a tailor sewing a bride’s dress. The following three tracks delve emotionally deep beginning with Neal Sedaka’s warm tribute to his and all Jewish mothers with My Yiddishe Momme. Dave Koz and Herb Alpert contribute two moving instrumentals (Raisins and Almonds, Belz) where single instruments, whether it be the saxophone, trumpet or fiddle, become the voices of the many struggles endured by the Jews.

Just as music is at the center of Jewish culture, undeniably so is food, and what else is more iconic to their cuisine than a bagel with cream cheese and lox. Rob Schneider’s playful take on Bagel & Lox takes us to a lighter side of the recording, with the esteemed Ray Ellis arranging on this 1940’s novelty classic. An absolute standout performance by Jason Alexander, Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max highlights the Seinfeld co-star unabashedly in character imitating his mother on this Alan Shiman original. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Max Weinberg team up for an unforgettable version of Mazel; often a set closer for Italian entertainers up in the Pocono’s Mountains in the early ‘50s. There wasn’t a Jewish household in all of New York not spinning Joe and Paul. The Yiddish just for adults floor-stomper piqued Paul Shaffer’s childhood curiosity, inevitably proving to be quite the obscene story (the youngest son locking himself in the bathroom to …). After debuting it at a fundraiser to overwhelming success, Shaffer and Richard Belzer connected with Theodore Bikel to write out the Yiddish translation.

Appearing in Adam Sandler’s upcoming film, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, singer Lainie Kazan joins Brooks Arthur for an emotive version of Sheyn Vi Di L'Vone. Theodore Bikel, one of the three fiddlers from the Broadway production Fiddler on the Roof, and vocalist/screen-writer Betsy Hammer (a former backup singer for Neil Young) sing a loving duet with Marc Ellis arranging on their version of Sabbath Prayer. Often operating with a comedic approach in his growing catalogue of Jewish music, Adam Sandler has a more heartfelt approach with his rendition of Hine Ma Tov. It features Sandler alongside his real-life cantor, Cantor Marcelo Gindlin. Marvin Hamlisch, a longtime arranger for Streisand, lends his take on the Israeli National Anthem "Hatikvah," while Streisand herself shares her version of "Avinu Malkeinu." It’s quite rare for a Streisand track to be licensed to a compilation. It is the sole composition not exclusively recorded for this project.

From the Catskills and casinos to synagogues and Sabbath dinners, The Jewish Songbook The Heart And Humor Of A People marks a distinct collection of timeless songs reminiscent of the beauty, creativity and joy within Jewish culture. The Jewish Songbook brings together an exceptionally talented group of artists each passionately sharing a bit of their own Jewish identity and love for their culture. Through heart and humor, these 13 featured classics are hand selected by both Arthur and the artists alike, presenting some of their all-time Jewish music favorites.

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts Grammy®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists and lovingly assembled album reissues. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.

The Jewish Songbook: The Heart And Humor Of A People
Distributed by Sony BMG
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Selection No.: 826663-10900
Suggested List Price: $15.98

Track Listing
1. Utt Da Zay (Irving Mills/Buck Ram) - The Manhattan Transfer Featuring Andy Statman
2. My Yiddishe Momme (Jack Yellen/Lew Pollack) - Neil Sedaka
3. Raisins and Almonds (Abraham Goldfaden/Stanley Lionel) - Dave Koz
4. Mein Shtetele Belz (Jacob Jacobs/Alexander Olshanetsky) - Herb Alpert Featuring Alicia Svigals
5. Bagel & Lox (Sid Tepper/Roy C. Bennett) - Rob Schneider
6. Shake Hands With Your Uncle Max (Allan Sherman) - Jason Alexander
7. Mahzel (Means Good Luck) (Artie Wayne/Jack Beekman) - Triumph the Insult Comic Dog with Special Appearance by Max Weinberg
8. Joe and Paul (Sholom Secunda/Eddie Barton) - Paul Shaffer and Richard Belzer
9. Sheyn Vi Di L'Vone (Chaim Towber/Joseph Rumshinsky) - Lainie Kazan Featuring Brooks Arthur
10. Sabbath Prayer (Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick) - Theodore Bikel Featuring Betsy Hammer
11. Hine Ma Tov (Traditional Arranged by Adam Sandler) - Adam Sandler Featuring Cantor Marcelo Gindlin
12. Hatikvah (Traditional) - Marvin Hamlisch Featuring Kenny Karen
13. Avinu Malkeinu (Music: Max Janowski, Trad. Liturgy) - Barbra Streisand


Quite a lineup of artists on this. Gotta do it, Herb's on here.
I've just received a promo copy of The Jewish Songbook from Shout! Factory. Some of the CD graphics:




Mein Shtetele Belz - besides the slight variation of the title from the version appearing on The Beat Of The Brass, this is a completely different take on the tune. After a violin intro, as Herb's trumpet comes in, the melody is instantly recognizable. The song progresses, building along the way, Herb's trumpet multi-tracked at times, then goes into a big band, jazzy sound. It fades into a solo violin. It certainly is in keeping with the theme of this collection. In addition to hearing Herb in a different setting, I found the entire CD to be very entertaining.
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