Sephardic Treasures

sephardictreasuresSephardic Treasures is a collection of traditional Sephardic songs in less traditional arrangements.  The texts (Ladino and Spanish) and melodies are original and drawn from a collection of songs thought to originate in the 12th to 15th centuries.  The arrangements, by bassist Alan Lewine, draw on jazz, flamenco and Israeli folk music incorporating instruments like bass, trumpet, flamenco guitar, piano, flute, shofar and percussion to create quite a range of styles that fit the texts well.  All of this is grounded in the stylish and idiomatic singing of soprano Ana Maria Ruimonte.  It’s fun listening.  Some of the songs have that twisted, even gruesome, quality of a lot of medieval songs; husbands who have their wives executed, wives who feed their step children to their husbands etc, but others are very light hearted, like the one about the cat who is so surprised by a proposal of marriage that he falls off the roof and is killed but when they try to bury him in a sardine box the smell revives him!

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