WORLD

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - Tony Hil­lier

TALK of world mu­sic per­form­ers break­ing down bar­ri­ers is usu­ally un­sub­stan­ti­ated and of­ten spu­ri­ous. Not so in Yas­min Levy’s case. With her sec­ond album, the Is­raeli artist mar­ries the en­dan­gered art of Ladino singing, a Judeo- Span­ish tra­di­tion dat­ing back to the 15th cen­tury, with fla­menco, the fiery fu­sion born of gypsy and Moor­ish soul, and Mid­dle East­ern in­flu­ences. That she does so with a multi­na­tional band that boasts Jewish, Chris­tian and Mus­lim mem­bers un­der­lines her cross- cul­tural cred­i­bil­ity. The in­stru­men­tal­ists are ju­di­ciously em­ployed, leav­ing her free to ex­tract max­i­mum grav­i­tas from plain­tive melodies and lyrics. An­dalu­sian gui­tar and per­cus­sion, Ira­nian flute and Turk­ish clar­inet pro­vide per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to Levy’s mag­nif­i­cent voice. The songs are down- tempo, su­per­fi­cially dour per­haps, but im­bued with spir­i­tual depth. The pas­sion and pathos elicited from the self­penned Me Voy and Noches, Noches , the lat­ter a tra­di­tional Ladino bal­lad stun­ningly set to a solea ( fla­menco) rhythm, leaves the lis­tener in no doubt that Levy’s singing comes from the heart. La Jud­e­ria Yas­min Levy Con­nect­ing Cul­ture/ MRA

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