Shir Hodu is the Hebrew for song of praise. It also means Song of India. This CD is the second in our series of CDs that features Jewish singers from the Middle and the Far East.
Until the issue of this CD it had been taken for granted that no recordings of
Jewish music had been made in India and that the only echoes of a tradition that was centuries old were recordings made by their descendants in present day Israel. From a musicological point of view the recordings on this CD are the equivalent of finding a Rosetta stone, allowing us to reinterpret a centuries old tradition.
Over the course of more than 5 years of searching and following leads for these long last original recordings we were able to produce this extraordinary
compilation of recordings, some of them privately made, taken in the 1930s in Bombay.
Among the performers are a shofar (Ram's horn) blower who was born in the 1850s and a hazzan (Cantor) known as "The Butcher".
This musical link with the past has been brought to life by the memories and photos of the descendents of these singers and instrumentalists gathered from across the globe.
The CD comes with a copiously illustrated 24 page booklet that will serve as a
valuable source for future researchers into the Indian Jewish musical tradition.
Several of the instrumentalists featured on this CD later played on some of the most evocative Bollywood films of the 1950s including Shree 420, Boot Polish, Awaara and even Meera Nam Joker from 1970.
There is shouting, instrumental breaks and a real sense of excitement which comes through loud and clear on these authentic sound portraits of a tradition that is now part of Indian and Jewish history.
Sensitive remastering allows us to hear these recordings as they have never been heard before.
CD Available from Honest Jons