Sabra Sounds

It's a trip down memory lane with the new three-album collection of Israel Itzhaki's works.

itzhak disk 88 298 (photo credit: )
itzhak disk 88 298
(photo credit: )
Mayim Shketim (Quiet Water) (Hatav Hashmini) While the mainstream music field hasn't paid too much attention to this collaborative project, Mayim Shketim is making a lot of noise in the indie world of Israeli music. The collective offers a refreshing sound of airy, unpretentious melodies. Sagit Shir is responsible for main vocals, musical arrangements, and percussion. She's joined by Ariel Sherbakovsky on bass (he has also backed up Iggy Waxman and Tamar Eisenmann, among others) and Roni Reshef, back-up vocalist and guitar player. Forget dance beats and electronica vibes, the music here is innocent and delicate. Shir's voice is angelic and enticing. The album includes 12 tracks. The texts are as much a part of the group's art as their music. Shir, Sherbakovsky and Reshef give contemporary meaning to the works of renowned poets such as Haim Nahman Bialik, Rahel, and Heinrich Heine. Mayim Shketim's album is one of the most original to be produced in the Israeli music scene. THE BEST OF ISRAEL ITZHAKI Discography 1947-2006 (Ecco) It's a trip down memory lane with the new three-album collection of Israel Itzhaki's works. Renowned for his generous output of traditional Israeli tunes, this compilation includes 75 songs by the Rosh Pina star. The son of a British mother and a Polish father, Itzhaki was a pop idol in his day, and perhaps the first music icon in the State of Israel. He introduced Israelis to "ballroom dance" music, and although he predominantly sang and composed traditional "Eretz-Yisrael" tunes throughout his career, his name continues to be categorized with parlor music. The first album of the collection includes songs that highlight his connection to the country and its culture. Among them are "Artzaynu Haktantonet", "Mishmar Hagvul" and "Simona MeDimona". Also included here is his song "Anu Nipagesh" which was one of his greatest hits. With more than 400 songs to his name, it couldn't have been easy to select works for this compilation. Album Two includes his ballroom dance hits from the 1950s. Having performed around the globe in the 1950s, Itzhaki left Israel in the sixties for Australia and only returned two decades later. He was popular the world over, which made his decision to record music for children rather surprising back then. The third album in this collection is named for one of his famous children's songs, "Abaleh Boh Laluna Park". The song was written for the opening of the Luna amusement park in Tel Aviv. This album also includes a number of his Yiddish hits such as "A Yiddisha Maidele" and "Bay Mir Bis Do Shayn". Favorites like "Savta Savta", "Saba Pikolino" and of course, "Sing Birdy Sing" can all be found on Album Three. The collection is indeed a nostalgic affair.