Sabra sounds

Five years after veteran musician Shlomi Shabat won acclaim for his Friends album, which included duets with relatively unknown artists, the second part of the series arrives.

shlomi shabat disk 88 29 (photo credit: )
shlomi shabat disk 88 29
(photo credit: )
Shlomi Shabat Haverim 2 (Friends, Part 2) (Eden) Five years after veteran singer/songwriter Shlomi Shabat won acclaim for his Friends album, which included duets with relatively unknown artists, the second part of the series arrives. This time around, Shabat hooks up with a mix of unfamiliar and better known singers. The names you'll recognize include Shiri Maimon ("Bekol Makom"), Ma Kashur ("Lama Ma"), Glykeria ("Tzel Etz Tamar") and Lior Narkis ("Sadeh Ktana"). Lesser known but no less talented artists include Shir Levi, Gad Elbaz, Itzik Shimli, Aviv Shoshan and rapper Guy Buskilaz. On Friends, Part I, Shabat wrote and composed the music and lyrics to most of the songs. In Part 2, the other artists have a hand in most of the compositions. The duets are lively ("Lama Ma"), charming ("Bekol Makom"), fun ("Belibi") and charismatic ("Heichan Ahava"). The unifying force throughout the 14 tracks is an undeniable Mizrahi beat. Over the years, Shabat has collaborated with the likes of Gidi Gov, Rita and Shalom Hanoch, as well as with all-star lyricists Pablo Rosenberg and the late Ehud Manor. It is with lesser-known musicians that Shabat has really made his mark. "To say I like to help doesn't sound genuine. But I enjoy singing with new people, and it's a wonderful feeling to see a new performer move forward. I pick artists I like and they become my brothers. It's a great satisfaction," Shabat told The Jerusalem Post in an earlier interview. "I don't want to be a nudnik (nuisance) and sing forever. I like to see the new generation get a platform." Friends, Part I kick-started the career of Lior Narkis as a result of his highly acclaimed duet with Shabat, "L'Kol Ehad Yesh" (Everyone Has). Shabat has said he hopes Friends, Part II will boost the careers of his new friends as well. At the moment, "Lama Ma" with Ma Kashur trio is the single with the most radio rotation. Time will tell if there are other mega-hits on this album. David D'Or Kmo Haruach (Like the Wind) (Hed Arzi) David D'Or is in top form on his new album, Kmo Haruach. The singer-composer took two years to perfect his latest offering - his eighth album to date - and is responsible for most of the lyrics and music. The powerful countertenor shows off his vocals on the album, hitting notes both high and low. D'Or offers a mix of classical and world music tunes in the 12 tracks. It's an east-meets-west assembly of instruments including the guitar, keyboard, sitar, flute, percussion and cello, among others. Potential hits include the beautiful "Nosea Zafona" (Traveling North), the ethnic "Zman Ahava" (Time of Love), the spine-tingling "Isha Sheli" (My Woman), and the energetic "Halev Yodea" (The Heart Knows). Though D'Or can certainly hold his own in the vocal arena, he has chosen to perform duets with some of the country's top musicians, including Arik Einstein, Arkadi Duchin, Ehud Banai, Shlomi Shabat and the Ramat Hasharon Shiran Choir. The collaborations add color and variety to the repertoire. A former Eurovision contestant named Israel's "Singer of the Year" in 2004, D'Or has been described as having a "voice from heaven." Kmo Haruach demonstrates that the description is well-deserved. His last track, "From the Top of the World," is dedicated to his late father and imbues the listener with a heavenly sensation.