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...

  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.