A Brass Section Of A Lifetime

Thursday night (June 6, 2010) was the “Lineup of A Lifetime” concert – a tribute to 30 years of composing and arranging by Moshe Laufer. To those of you who aren’t familiar with Jewish music, Moshe Laufer is one of the three people (together with Mona Rosenblum and Israel Lamm) who shaped Jewish music in the past 40 years. These days Jewish music sounds more like pop/rock rather than Klezmer, and Moshe wrote hundreds of tunes. The night was a night to remember as the biggest names in Jewish music from near and afar were on stage to honor him. Photographer Baruch Ezagui , shlager.net and thejewishinsights.com provided these snazzy pictures!
Brass Section Of a Lifetime

Brass Section Of a Lifetime

I have had the pleasure of recording with Laufer for 20 years. If youv’e never been to a jewish music concert – its like going to a gender seperated Mowtown/RnB gig with the crowd dancing on the chairs and screaming back at the singers and calling out the tunes, except everyone is white and are dressed for a physics lecture. The energy levels are immense and the brass is a key part of the show. Just like Latin music, brass is a cornerstone of the the jewish music. For a line-up-of-a-lifetime concert we needed a Brass-of-a-lifetime brass section. Don Downs and Matt Peterson played trumpets, Mark Gatz played saxophone and I played trombone.

Lipa dancing a Hora to the trumpets of Matt Peterson and Don Downs

Lipa dancing a Hora to the trumpets of Matt Peterson and Don Downs

There is more to the job of brass section leader is than make sure that all the articulations and styles are correct. During the concert I make sure everyone is in the right place, and if a singer makes a mistake (yes they do) assist the conductor in flawlessly transitioning the the whole orchestra to the new place. In essence the brass section leader operates as the concertmaster in the classical orchestra – communicating with all the band members. The other corner stone of the show is the drummer (Gal Gershovsky) who operates as the vice conductor in terms of setting tempos and providing clear entrances.  You would think that this would be the conductor’s job, but in this type of show the conductor is part of the show:

Fried and Laufer dancing

Fried and Laufer dancing

Rehearsals were long and grueling. We  barely had time to text:

DSCN3000

Over fifty songs and medlies (some 9 pages long !) need to be read and corrected in three days. The music was copied two days prior to the show, and we read through a songs only once or twice before the show. Some of the songs were read for the first time during the sound check:

DSCN3011

The musicians on such a show need to have nerves of steel and exceptional sight reading capabilities, yet we did have time to have fun:

Matt Peterson, Don Downs and Danny Flam

Matt Peterson, Don Downs and Danny Flam

Food is the driver behind any Jewish event. Producers Yossie Tyberg and Gershy Moskowitz made sure we  were well fed with hot dogs, pastrami sandwiches, soft drinks, hamburgers, fries, chulent, rice, meat, water and much more (It is the “Jewish mother in them”). They also took care the less important things like cutting checks and unlocking the hall doors and letting everyone in. (Oh no,  I think that’s the Union).

Yossi Tyberg and Gershi Moskowitz

Yossi Tyberg and Gershi Moskowitz

Master sound engineer Eli Lishinsky and the crew created a fantastic sound. The sound system had a separate monitor console and main PA console with separate crews. The complexity is immense and they spent 3 days preparing for the event. Sound was flawless, and there were hardly any failures  in the immense maze of snaking wires, and the conflicting demands of the musicians:

Eli Lishinsky Tweaking sound

Eli Lishinsky Tweaking sound

Ari Boiangiu (try saying Boiangiu 10 times fast!) and Dave Solomon rocked the house with their Guitars and Fima Ephron on bass:

Fima Ephron, Dave Solomon, Laufer, Fried, Ari Boiangiu

Fima Ephron, Dave Solomon, Laufer, Fried, Ari Boiangiu

Super drummer Gal Gershovsky played the drums and acted as vice conductor. You wouldn’t believe what a difference a competent drummer makes during a performance .

Mr. Drums - Gal Gershovsky

Mr. Drums – Gal Gershovsky

Shai Bachar is an incredible musician and pianist and provided the support needed for the show.  Jonathan Keren is a composer and talented violinist and added velvety string sound to the slow songs and a touch of 70s disco sound to the fast songs

Pianist Shai Bachar and String section leader Jonathan Keren

Pianist Shai Bachar and String section leader Jonathan Keren

After working with Chick Corea and Arturo Sandoval, Colombian Percussionist Samuel Torres decided to try something new:

Percussionist Samuel Torres

Percussionist Samuel Torres

By the way these photos were curtesy of Baruch Ezagui. I like the guy a lot, he always put up with my antics, see below:

One last picture

One last picture


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “A Brass Section Of A Lifetime”

  1. Hola thanks to you for this new post.

Leave a Reply