Internationally renowned jazz guitarist and oud virtuoso Amos Hoffman and world-class pianist/composer Noam Lemish have teamed up to release Pardes, an enchanting album offering an inspired blend of jazz, North African and Latin rhythms as well as melodies that come from various Jewish communities across the Middle-East and Eastern Europe.
For years, Hoffman and Lemish have been collecting Jewish melodies from different parts of the world including Kurdish, Yemenite, Moroccan, Russian, Central Asian, and Israeli songs. In Pardes they team up with a stellar Toronto-based rhythm section featuring Justin Gray on bass and Derek Gray on drums & percussion to present vibrant re-imaginings of these beloved melodies.
Hoffman and Lemish, both of whom have roots in Israel but have spent much of their adult life in North America, began collaborating in January 2016. Lemish is deeply rooted in jazz and classical music and Hoffman is equally well-versed in jazz, Arab classical music, and North African vernaculars. Together they create a refreshing and compelling sound, filled with vibrant sonorities, unique instrument combinations and compelling arrangements.
Their work together started when Lemish, who grew up admiring Hoffman’s pioneering blend of jazz & middle-eastern influences invited Hoffman for a series of performances in Canada. The two musicians clicked on their initial tour and decided to launch the Pardes project. The pairing of their unique talents and backgrounds brings about this truly exciting project. In their first year of performances of the Pardes repertoire Hoffman and Lemish have played to sold out houses in New York City, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Buffalo, San Diego (CA) and Columbia (SC).
The meaning of the word Pardes in Hebrew is “orchard” or “fruit garden”. The word also carries with it many layers of meaning in Jewish philosophy. Pardes is etymologically rooted in Farsi and is the origin of the word “paradise”. The songs in this album are both geographically diverse in origin and cover a wide-range of emotional terrain and sonic landscapes. The renditions are simultaneously faithful to the songs’ origins and rooted in the African-American and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions. The result is a joyous, uplifting celebration, texturally rich music, filled with groove, lyrical melodies and outstanding solos. In Pardes, Hoffman and Lemish breathe new life into gorgeous melodies that had been forgotten and create music that is appealing both to listeners completely unfamiliar with the melodies in their original context and to those who recognize these songs.
official website: https://hoffmanlemish.com/
Marty's review: With its combination of traditional and world music instruments, this album works like a dream. The talents of these two virtuosos unite and they display their instrumental mastery on each and every composition. The beautiful sound of the oud adds another dimension by conjuring up images of African and European locales that take you on your own journey of musical discovery. An outstanding production and just pure magic!