A nice little album – despite what might be a gimmicky concept! The set offers up Latin versions of Jewish tunes – but even that's not much of a gimmick, when you consider how import
ant the Jewish audiences were to the growth of Latin music in the New York in the 50s and 60s. From DJs like Symphony Sid, to vacationers at the Catskills, to dancers in classes at Arthur Murray on Long Island or the Palladium in Manhattan, the Jewish audiences were some of the strongest for the New York Latin acts – and it's no surprise that you get albums like this cropping up to address the situation! Calle's group is a fine Latin jazz ensemble, and they've got a clarinet in the mix on a few tracks, snaking away in an almost klezmer-like fashion over the piano/
percussion grooves of the album. Players include a rock-solid batch of Latin and jazz musicians – including Charlie Palmieri on piano, Ray Barretto on congas, Willie Rodriguez on timbales, Clark Terry on trumpet, and Doc Cheatham on trumpet – plus John Cali on lute – the real name of Juan Calle, who also did all the arrangements. Ed Powell sings a bit of vocals, but most of the action here is instrumental – and very much in the best Riverside Latin mode of the time, but with a Jewish twist! Titles include "Papirossen", "Beltz Mein Shetele Betlz", "Die Greene Koseene", "Frilach A Nacht", and "Yossel Yossel".
(Out of print.)