Cantor Isaac Algazi

Sweet Singer of Israel

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AllMusic Review by

If you're expecting something Israeli from the title, you won't find it. But if you want some remarkable Jewish music, much of it from the Ottoman Sephardic tradition, this is a remarkable disc indeed. Cantor Isaac Algazi was trained in both Jewish sacred music and Ottoman (i.e., Turkish) classical music, and one of the most famous cantors in Turkey, wielding some political power there in the 1920s and '30s. With a remarkable, expressive voice and a staggering range, he was equally adept on religious Sephardic songs, folk songs, sacred music, or Turkish material, where he's often accompanied by an unnamed oud player. There's been very little Jewish music available from the Ottoman empire, making this especially valuable, all the more so because of its quality (kudos, too, to the excellent notes). One can only hope that more of Algazi's superb recordings find the light of day soon.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:54
2
3:02
3
2:47
4 2:53
5
2:53
6
2:44
7
2:54
8
2:57
9
2:46
10
2:55
11
2:46
12
2:49
13
2:22
14
2:59
15
3:03
16
2:43
17
2:45
18
2:52
19
3:00
20
2:55
21
2:58
22
2:45
23
2:45
24
3:03
25
2:37
blue highlight denotes track pick