Author: Jeremy Stein

Ganchoff the Great

By Way of Introduction When I began my formal cantorial training, one of the names that kept coming up was Moshe Ganchoff. Sure, there were others, Rosenblatt, Kusevitsky, Pinchik. But when teachers would mention Ganchoff’s name, it seemed to be in a different tone of voice. Subtle, but with just a slightly heightened sense of awe and respect. Ganchoff, the beautiful voice. Gachoff, the master interpreter of hazzanut. Ganchoff, the great improvisor. Yet, with all the platitudes awarded to Ganchoff, I remember hearing very few recordings of his singing. And as I began to build my record and CD collection of cantorial music,...

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Why Don’t They Daven Like Yossele Anymore?

Entering Birkat Hamazon I have great memories of singing Birkat Hamazon at Camp Ramah in New England. The immense dining hall was filled to capacity (and probably beyond) with rowdy campers singing and banging on the tables, and their counselors trying to keep them under control while simultaneously encouraging their overflowing ruah. At the conclusion of Birkat Hamazon, we would continue singing a nigun to the melody of na'ar hayiti, banging on the table even harder. At the end of each round we would jump up and shout "One more time HEY!" and repeat the nigun as many times...

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The Moishe Oysher Chanukah Party- The Vinyl Maven

How Do You Spell Hanukah, Chanuka, Chanukah? If you go to the store to buy candles, banners, napkins or other accessories for Chanukah, you'll likely find multiple attempts to transliterate this word whose letters do not all have an equivalent in English. Is it Chanukah? Chanuka? Hanukah? Jannooqa??? You'll see them all. But none of these spellings quite works for this month's album (which, oddly enough, spells it differently on the front and back covers). For on the opening track, Happy Chanukah, the spelling of Moishe Oysher's authentic Yiddish pronunciation of the aforementioned holiday is more accurately represented as "Chanikeh." The "i"...

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The Vinyl Maven: Jan Peerce- Yes He Cant!

About Vinyl Maven Over the years, I have amassed a large collection of Jewish music on vinyl. Many I have bought from record shops. Others were given to me by individuals or libraries clearing out their collection. Some were literally left by the doorstep, in the hopes that someone would give them a good home. There are the classic cantors, Broadway shows (nearly every collection has at least one version of Fiddler on the Roof), and 1970's rock services. Folk songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino. There's comedy, jazz, and historical speeches. While organizing a particularly varied collection I had inherited, I decided I wanted to...

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