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The Nifty Levites with Raymond Smolover – Edge of Freedom

Cantor Raymond Smolover apparently wasn’t an unimportant figure in the Jewish music scene in the states, having produced and written (comic) opera’s and also teaching singing and vocal training techniques to many. Here’s a curious record he did with the youth choir The Nifty Levites for the Bell label, called “Edge of Freedom, a folk/rock service for the sabbath”. Now most of the record is kind of dull, but there are two tracks that are great, one of which is truly bewitching.

Check out the very solid bass player and the beautiful eh “mid eastern” melody. Raymond’s tenor voice is maybe not something you ordered, but it’s there, and juxtaposed to the innocent yet pretty creepie choir, it doesn’t miss effect. The clarinet player has some good lines too and makes one recall the weird but unsung music from “Welcome to the dollhouse”.

Listen to: edge of freedom

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