Jewish Classics Live Again, Set To Latin Beats

August 22nd, 2009 | admin | No Comments | Categories: Blog, Mazeltov, Mis Amigos, Press

  • The album Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos dates from a time in the late 1940s through the mid-’60s when Latin music was hugely popular in this country’s Jewish community. Albums blending the two cultures sold millions of copies. One of them, which put Jewish classics to a Latin beat, has just been reissued — and is being re-created in concert at New York’s Lincoln Center.

    Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos was released in 1961 by the venerable jazz label Riverside Records. It claimed to be the work of Juan Calle and His Latin Lantzmen but was actually recorded by some of the preeminent jazz and Latin music players of the time — including Doc Cheatham, Clark Terry, Ray Barretto and Charlie Palmieri. It featured a Yiddish theater classic performed as a Dominican merengue, as well as a song about a cigarette seller done as a quick-step mambo. “Havah Nagilah” was played as a cha cha.

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