Matt Herskowitz / Lara St. John

Jerusalem Trilogy

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For pianist/composer Matt Herskowitz, merging music from Jerusalem with jazz means adding heady progressive notions of improvisation on top of traditional liturgy. A string section, Daniel Schnyder’s saxophone, and the deep blue chords Herskowitz uses as embellishment create a new, fresh, resonant music. A tumbling, cascading sound comes out of Herskowitz’s piano during "Polonaise Libanaise," but in contrast, the hard-edged, monster rock waltz "Crossbones" shows possible influences from John Bonham or Keith Moon. Hymnal, classical chamber music, blues, and even crazed, angular sounds are also heard on this diverse and well-crafted project that simply cannot be pigeonholed as klezmer fusion.

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