36 Songs, 1 Hour 55 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews


Double Exposure

Though recognizable by his dreadlocks and turban, Idan Raichel often seemed to hide in plain sight. Concerts of his Idan Raichel Project feature up to 15 artists at a time on stage, no one commanding the spotlight, and the self-effacing maestro—as pianist, composer, lyricist, singer and producer—always at stage right. To date, he’s made six albums with the Project, a rotating assembly representing Israel’s diversity, with artists singing in Amharic and Arabic alongside Hebrew, plus guest performers from Africa, Europe and Latin America. He’s done two albums with the Touré-Raichel Collective, partnering with the Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. His collaborative music has made him an icon of cross-border understanding, but in 2015 Raichel released his first solo album, At the Edge of the Beginning, reflecting the transition to family and parenthood. He started touring without a band, presenting new and old songs stripped to their essence. The stripping was physical as well as musical, dreadlocks and turban giving way to a shaved pate. The changes are manifest on Raichel ·Piano ·Songs, his voice in Hebrew at once familiar and novel, singing of longing and searching, warmly filling the stage instead of standing at the edge. In this sweeping, live, 36-track musical garden, two recent and two classic songs stand out: In Lifney She’Yigamer (Before It Ends), he counsels taking risks and seizing life, while in Yored Ha’Erev (Evening Falls), he contrasts dreams of youth with acceptance of how things turn out. The indelible Mi'Ma'amakim (From the Depths), inspired by Psalm 130, speaks of love as giving, while Ba’Yeshimon (In the Wilderness) explores love in a place where no one is watching. Shorn of his locks and the cover of an entourage, Raichel remains as powerful as ever. —worldlisteningpost.com

About Idan Raichel

b. c.

1978, Kfar Saba, Israel. As a child Raichel played accordion but later switched to keyboards. Following military service, he worked as a counsellor with Ethiopian children and through this began exploring that country’s culture. He attracted attention working with pop singer Ivri Lider and soon decided to form his own band, the Idan Raichel Project. Awareness of his playing spread rapidly from 2002 and in large part this was owing to his ability to incorporate into his music elements from the traditions of Jewish culture. Inevitably, these elements are allied with those of other lands, especially in the Middle East and through these Raichel has found a common ground that appeals to many. Indeed, the appeal stretches far beyond these physical constraints and he has attracted audiences in many European countries, Mexico and south east Asia. The musical echoes include those from India and especially Ethiopia as musicians from the latter country are key members of Raichel’s group. Not surprisingly, the Idan Raichel Project has found favour with audiences at World Of Music And Dance festivals in the UK and also in Singapore and the USA. The band’s 2005 tour of the USA touched down in 17 cities and brought SRO shows almost everywhere. In 2006, Raichel took his group to Ethiopia for the fifth Ethiopian Music Festival where, unsurprisingly, they were a huge success.

Raichel sings mainly in Hebrew but also in Amharic and Ethiopian dialects, as well as some other languages. He is one of only a handful of Israeli musicians to make a mark on the international pop music scene. His songs include ‘Boee’, ‘Siyaishaya Ingoma’, ‘Hinach Yafah’, ‘Im Telech’ and ‘Azini’. His 2002 debut album went triple platinum and the follow-up Mima’amakim saw similarly high sales, reaching double platinum.

Kfar Saba, Israel