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Singer, Producer, & President, Craig 'n Co.
I had a the pleasure of listening to the "ETERNAL QUESTION" CD a
number of times these past few weeks. It is AWESOMELY powerful. Love
the production, the grooves the tunes the whole experience.
I love "That Little Bit of Charm," "A Shtekele," "Gedenk."
All honor to you!
Clement Dumais blogs
Review of "Gedenk" ("Remember") from "Di Alte Kashe" (TEQ).
World of Music
has delivered a heartfelt delight."
From Itzik Gottesman, Ph. D.
The Forward Hour (WEVD, New York)
"We can hear in her singing that
the songs are no shpilikhl (plaything) to her, but a way to a
From Pablo Yglesias
Author: Cocinanda! Forty Years of Latin Music Album Cover Art
Producer: Rough Guide to Salsa Clandestina (Personal correspondence)
I love this album, especially the reggae cut (A Shtekele) and
the title song. Very diverse in it's scope. Brilliant.
From Norman Corwin
"Superb, tuneful and well-performed"
From Association of Jewish Libraries
...Fraidy Katz is gifted with a clear, warm voice and clear
easy-to-understand diction. The innovative modern arrangements of
the songs inject them with new rhythms . . . A valuable addition to
Jewish folk music collections in private, public and academic
libraries. Appropriate for all ages.
Newsletter Feb-Mar 2008
From George Robinson, Jewish Week
It’s been a long time since
Katz’s superb CD, "Family Portrait" with the Klezical Tradition,
which was released in ‘98. That, of course, is an indication of how
tough it is to be a Jewish musician working for indie labels and so
on. The wait, however, was worth it, because this is a fine
collection of Yiddish tunes given an interesting range of
treatments. Although the backbeat-driven opening cut, "Mit Gelt Tor
Men Nisht Shtoltsirn," would probably work better as a vehicle for
the gritty voice of Wolf Krakowski, Katz’s frequent collaborator and
labelmate, the rest of the songs are lovely, with a gently jazzy
"Dos Pintele fun Kheyn" a particular pleasure. The set has a
strong bluegrass/alt-country feel, and Katz’s mountain-fed-stream of
a soprano is a great match for the Lonesome Brothers and other
Rated 4.5 Stars
From Seth Rogovoy
The long-awaited recording featuring the
vocals of one of our finest contemporary Yiddish singers, Fraidy
Katz, has finally arrived, and it was worth every minute of the
wait. "Eternal Question" (Di Alte Kashe) features a baker's dozen
Yiddish folk and popular tunes recontextualized for modern times;
Old World ballads are draped in accordion, pipes, tsimbl and violin,
in a peaceful coexistence alongside electric guitars, trumpets and
saxophones. As co-producer Wolf Krakowski has explored on his own
albums that boast a similar approach and use the same core band, the
fabulous Lonesome Brothers, there is a natural affinity between
Yiddish popular songs and such quintessentially American styles as
blues, reggae, jazz, and even country swing, and Katz exploits this
affinity in a manner that at once showcases her intuitive grasp of
the songs' roots while at the same time effortlessly making them
speak to contemporary audiences. Had there been no Shoah, this is
undoubtedly the direction in which Yiddish song would have evolved
and the music that a vast majority of what would have been a large,
Yiddish-speaking world would have been listening to today. It's our
good fortune to have it re-created and represented by such a
sterling talent as Fraidy Katz.
- Seth Rogovoy, author, "The Essential Klezmer:
A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music"
From Mae Rockland Tupa
Almost everyone I know is concerned
about maintaining whatever intellectual and cultural prowess they
have achieved over the years. Many of my friends are into So Duko
and crossword puzzles. Some are mad followers of Harry Potter and
the Muggles. When they ask me what I am doing to keep my mind nimble
and quick, I slowly respond that I am revisiting and resurrecting my
mame loshen, (mother tongue), Yiddish. A child of immigrants I
didn’t speak English until entering kindergarten at which point I
morphed into the English speaking translator for the family. We
belonged to the I.W.O. and I sang in a Yiddish children’s chorus and
many of the old songs took root in my heart. Now, as I relearn my
baby-talk and try to expand my vocabulary, I find that music is once
again a wonderful link to the soul of language.
Two of the best helpers in bringing my old language into my present
life have been Wolf Krakowski and Fraidy Katz.
Their latest production,
the CD entitled, “THE ETERNAL QUESTION~ DI ALTE KASHE”, which
includes as a bonus track a poignant rendition of “Vilna”, has 12
songs I hadn’t heard before.
With the brilliant
accompaniment of The Lonesome Brothers and thirteen other gifted
musicians, early and mid twentieth century European Yiddish songs
and poetry are made comfortably accessible via a sensitive mixture
of bluegrass, country, folk and dance rhythms. Fraidy Katz’s soft
and friendly soprano gently illuminates different corners of life
from courtship and child-care, to poverty, philosophy, and social
values. Her expertise as a student and teacher of languages is
brought to play in her expressiveness which draws the listener into
her Yiddish world. Fraidy’s gentleness as she sings her hungry child
to sleep in the waltz tempo lullaby, Hungerik Dayn Ketzele, (Your
Kitten is Hungry) expresses the profound sadness of all mothers who
feel helpless to shield their child from life’s pains. The duet with
Wolf Krakowski, “Gedenk”, is both playful and profound; from there
Fraidy segues neatly into a jazzy swing rendition of “Du Zolst Nisht
Geyn Mit Keyn Andere Meydelekh” (Don’t Go With Other Girls). The
rich contemporary musical settings bring the poetry right up to date
and the more I listen to this CD the more it feels woven into my
life. And, thanks to Fraidy my Yiddish vocabulary is growing!
Mae Rockland Tupa is a yiddisheh mame, bobeh, artist and author. She
divides her time between Brookline, MA, Bucksport ME, and Vilafames,
From Barry Reisman,
a 50,000-watt station covering Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed listening to Fraidy's
new CD, The Eternal Question. Needless to say, after I heard it, I
immediately started to use it on the air on WNWR and
www.wnwr.com in Philadelphia.
Judging from the listener phone calls, it is an instant hit! The
timeless melodies flawlessly performed by Fraidy Katz is a wonderful
new addition to my playlist, and I'll be using it frequently on my
daily klezmer/Jewish music program.
Thanks for the music!
Barry Reisman, Program Host, WNWR AM 1540