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Album review: 'Jazz Shabbat'


TBK Music Project

'Jazz Shabbat'


The Old Testament has a lot of rules but nowhere does it say Friday night services can't swing. Tradition, you say? The Jazz Shabbat tradition is pushing 15 years at Temple B'rith Kodesh. And now the program, a collaboration with members of the Eastman School of Music Jazz Department, has released a CD celebrating Keri Lopatin Berger's 20th anniversary as cantorial soloist and director of music at the synagogue.

The usual way of spicing up a Shabbat service is to add a bit of Klezmer music, but pianist Max Berlin and guitarist Bob Sneider opt for straight-ahead jazz arrangements of contemporary Shabbat standards. Berger's voice is gorgeously showcased on "Oseh Shalom." On most of the other tunes, she is skillfully joined in harmony or call-and-response with her husband, Jason Berger. Sneider, Berlin, and trumpeter John Sneider contribute smokin' solos throughout, while bassist Danny Ziemann and drummer Chase Ellison provide solid support.

A Shabbat service and CD release featuring Keri Lopatin Berger, Jason Berger, Sneider, and Berlin — along with saxophonist Colin Gordon, bassist Eugene Bisdikian, and Ryan Barski on drums — take place Friday, November 8, 7 p.m. at Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue. Free. 244-7060.