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Album Review

Davka is a modern Jewish renaissance trio making unique, acoustic arrangements that glean from jazz and chamber music, and incorporate the two into klezmer from sephardic and ashkenazi traditions. On Judith, they are joined by bassist Stuart Brotman, who also plays cymbalom, and Sheldon Brown, an exquisite clarinetist. The group weaves beautiful, original (except for the traditional "Von Der Khoppe") Jewish music that is less chamber jazz oriented than Zorn's Bar Khokba and Circle Maker Masada songbook projects, and more on par with the lush, more traditionally styled music of Psamim (who also had a 1999 release on the Tzadik label). An immediately apparent difference is Davka's Middle Eastern percussion work from Peter Maund. Violinist Daniel Hoffman's skill is highlighted by his amazing solos on such pieces as "Jericho" and "Ein Sof." Throughout the album there is terrific interaction between he and cellist Moses Sedler. Davka's music is warm and authentically beautiful, and the album's flow keeps a balance, off-setting the upbeat pieces and climactic soloing with wind-down pieces that fold softly.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The band Davka consists of Adam Levenson (doumbek, zarb), Daniel Hoffman (violin), and Moses Sedler (cello). Based out of California's Bay Area, the group blends traditional Jewish melodies with Middle Eastern rhythms; jazz improvisation with classical technique. Davka performed regularly in their home area of Berkeley and San Francisco, and once played with Israeli pop star Noa. In 1995, Davka began playing more distant venues, and have since performed at the annual Ashkenaz...
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Judith, Davka
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