For more than thirty years, internationally acclaimed clarinet and mandolin virtuoso Andy Statman has surprised discriminating fans by constantly breaking new ground in multiple styles and mixed genres. His new CD - entitled "Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge," the English equivalent of the acronym "Chabad" - is predictably unpredictable. It is not exactly klezmer, jazz, or the avant-garde American Roots music for which he is best known. Nor is it the brash, extroverted Jewish music we are used to hearing these days.
Mr. Statman's latest creative effort might be described as the instrumental equivalent of real Chassidic singing at its best - but performed in an eclectic musical language of his own invention. Hailed as "the greatest Jewish clarinetist of his generation" by the Jerusalem Post, Statman takes us on a musical journey into the heart of Chassidic melody. The result is one of the most profound and expressive examples of Jewish instrumental music on record.
It is no accident that Andy Statman became a devotee of Chassidic music. For the Chassidim, melody has always been a path of divine service ï€ a way to connect with G-d. This vision of music as a spiritual journey has guided Statman throughout his career, particularly as he began to move away from traditional klezmer to explore the wellsprings of Jewish music. "All Chassidic niggunim (melodies) are spiritual workshops," Statman observes. "They are meant to introduce the person to his own neshamah (soul) and help him to go deeper and deeper to discover the Source of his existence." In the CD's tastefully designed and informative booklet, Andy describes his early discovery of the melodies of Chabad and other Chassidic musical traditions as milestones along the way; other high points were his performances during the 1980s in the presence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, as well as before other revered Chassidic masters in Israel and America.
For those searching for something deeper in Jewish music, this CD should be a milestone, too. A Mayon Media production, "Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge" is available in music stores, bookstores, Judaica stores
Check out the artist's website:
1. Chonye's Niggun
2. Ki Hinei Ka'Chomer / Yom Kippur Eve Melody
3. Deveykus Niggun
4. Nye Zurritzi / Don't Worry
5. Niggun L'Shabbos V'Yom Tov / Song for the Sabbath and Festivals
6. Niggun Hisva'adus / Song for Chassidic Gathering
7. Hisbonenus / Contemplation
8. Niggun Simchah / Song of Joy
9. Yemin HaShem / Your Right Hand, O G-D)
10. Avinu Malkeinu / Our Father, Our King)
11. Hakafos Niggun / Melody for Rejoicing With the Torah