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CD Review - Yihiyu Leratzon by Piamenta

By Ben Bresky
6/12/2008, 12:00 AM

Well another Israel Day Concert in the Park has passed. Once again it was simulcast on Israel National Radio and hosted by our own Tovia Singer. And once again, Piamenta performed to an excited audience. However this year they had some brand new material from their brand new album, Yihiyu Leratzon.

Unlike the previous recent releases from guitarist Yossi Piamenta, this one has both Yossi and his flute playing brother Avi. The two have been performing and recording for decades now. For fans of the new Piamenta Live in New York album or the Heavenly Jams album, this is not a rock band. Like their other studio releases, this is a smooth, well produced album with a horn section. But that doesn't mean it doesn't rock out. Yossi's super fast guitar solos are still present, but in a Hasidic pop package. All the lyrics are in Hebrew and have religious themes. The songs are catchy and upbeat with plenty of guitar and flute solos.

Guests on the album include Yitzchak Bitton of Raya Mehemna, Gad Elbaz, Gershon Verboa, and other members of the Piamenta family. Piamenta is probably best known for their hit Asher Bara, a Jewish version of I Come From a Land Down Under by Men At Work. Some remember the melody as an 80s pop hit. But many Jewish music fans know it solely from the countless Jewish weddings who have featured it, complete with Hebrew lyrics and blazing guitar solo. On this album, they cover Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence, and transform it into Az Yashir. The other tracks are originals.

The Piamenta family is from Israel and of Sephardic background and many of their songs have a middle eastern vibe. Yossi and Avi's uncle is Albert Piamenta, a jazz saxophone player who still performs in Israel. Once I saw him perform at the Jerusalem Theater, and somewhere we have Albert Piamenta's sole recording, a record album which features a crazy, jazzy version of Rabbi Shalom Shabazi's Im Nin Alu.

Click here for an old interview I did with Yossi Piamenta
Click here to purchase the album

Here's one of the many videos you can find of Piamenta online. I'm going to a concert tonight and hope to have photos for you soon and post them in my next blog.