Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Songs of ‘Ahava’

September 19, 2012 2:00 am 0 comments

Marcus Goldhaber's new album, "Almost Love." Photo: Courtesy Marcus Goldhaber.

Growing up in a family whose members supported him and each other even as some went their own ways, Marcus Goldhaber was fortunate to see love in its many incarnations. On his new album, “Almost Love,” Goldhaber uses his volumes of material to craft a baker’s dozen of songs that celebrate and investigate all the wonders of the heart.

“My earliest [musical] influences were my family,” the 34-year-old Goldhaber tells JNS.org, recalling early days spent watching his mother play piano and his sister’s insistence that he try out for every school production he could find.

Goldhaber’s father—who recently took up the violin—was also an important influence since he was “always taking me to local concerts, operas and musicals as I was growing up.”

While many musicians take their cues from their parents and siblings, Goldhaber’s family influence extends one generation back.

“You could just as well trace it back to my grandfather who was a drum major in the marching band,” he notes, also mentioning how the love between his grandparents still inspires him. In fact, “Almost Love” is dedicated to them.

“Never were two people more in love,” Goldhaber recalls in the album’s liner notes prepared by Berklee College of Music professor Fred Bouchard.

From the gently comforting opening track “Love Me Tonight” (which takes its title from a 1932 Rodgers and Hart musical) or the musically and emotionally more complex “Hide Away,” to the anthemic title track and the swing of “Somebody In Love” (which is reminiscent of Annie Ross’ “Twisted”), to the gorgeously hopeful duet with Lauren Kinhan called “If I Knew Better,” Goldhaber’s album presents a broad range of sounds and ideas that fit inside the genre of jazz and the realm of love.

In producing an album of originals, Goldhaber hopes that he will be able to connect with listeners just as some of his own favorites connected with him. “When I first heard Chet Baker play a melody or Sarah Vaughn scat through…a bop or even a young Sinatra phrase a lyric,” he muses, “it all just made sense to me and I wanted to hear as much as possible.”

That drive to listen has helped Goldhaber become a walking encyclopedia of music. During his early days by his mother’s toe-tapping knee, Goldhaber explains that she would often ask him to name the song she was playing. “I usually did not know the song,” he admits. Those early failures to name that tune, however, pushed Goldhaber to investigate and explore the songs his mother said he “should know.”

The result is his deep knowledge of the writers and artists who made the Great American Songbook great. Goldhaber is more than happy to share that knowledge with his audiences, many of whom learn as much as they enjoy when they come to hear him.

Though he admits that jazz and the Great American Songbook may not be the popular forms they once were, Goldhaber maintains that it has not been difficult to maintain his allegiances to these genres. “There are so many writers that have been influenced by songs outside of there primary genre,” he suggests, “so this music fit rather well into mix of sounds with which I have always surrounded myself.”

When asked what drew him (and continues to draw him) to these songs, Goldhaber explains that he has always appreciated and admired the ease with which they get their musical messages across. “The simplicity…is often a foundation in the melody and lyrics,” he says. “I find it relaxing, energizing and inspiring.”

Though most of his music has come from other writers, Goldhaber was inspired to try his own hand at composing for “Almost Love.” Though some of these songs had been taking shape over time, he admits that the decision to record them was late in coming.

“We decided to do this about a month before we went into the studio,” he recalls. “I wanted to do this all along, but I was very hesitant, being a new writer and having a bunch of exciting new arrangements of standards that I wanted (and still want) to record.”

He says his musical cohorts—music director/pianist Jon Davis and producer/drummer Marcello Pellitteri—were “pretty insistent” and also “reassuring…that the original album was the way to go.”

The result has already begun to prove them right. Critics from local jazz experts to People magazine have hailed Goldhaber as a “youthfully carefree sweet tenor” who “will have you giddy one moment and melancholy the next and loving every note.” He has also been praised for his “accessible songwriting” and “intimate approach” that combines all the best elements of Chet Baker, Harry Connick Jr. Art Garfunkel and John Pizzarelli.

“Each song has a different source of inspiration,” Goldhaber suggests, “but the common thread is that each introduces a unique perspective toward love, a different journey through love or a moment inside love.”

Learn more about Goldhaber here.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Relationships Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Millionaire entrepreneur Yossi Vardi credited his success in start-ups to his Jewish mother continuously pushing him to do better, Daily Mail reported on Thursday. “Jewish mothers are never satisfied and nothing is ever good enough,” he said, adding that his mother, who died 15 years ago, used to compare him with his cousins and say he was “an idiot.” “For most of my life I have been trying to show her I’m not,” he continued. “I keep on trying even now.” Vardi, […]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →