Garaj Mahal: Ishmael and Isaac


Ishmael and Isaac


Garaj Mahal


w00t (OWL 00125)

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Eric Levy (keyboards),

Fareed Haque (guitar), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Alan Hertz (drums)


Composed by Eric Levy


Recorded: Sausalito, CA, May 2-5, 2007


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Leave it to Garaj Mahal to come up with a meshing of Jewish and Arabic music, with an American twist. A veritable whirlwind of Middle Eastern, Eastern European and good ol' vintage Yankee jazz-rock, "Ishmael and Isaac" deftly combines humor, virtuosity and multiculturalism.

Some klezmer kitsch at the beginning belies the sharp turns the song soon takes at 90 mph. In the middle of this cheerfully reckless trek across traditions are the twin highlights of Haque's sublime acoustic guitar solo during a gentle, melodic passage, and Levy's torrid Moog call & response with Haque and Eckhardt. After taking in "Ishmael and Isaac," I'm beginning to think that a song combining Japanese sato kagura music and Afrobeat could work as long as Garaj Mahal is handling it.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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