As the holiday season approaches we can all expect to hear the same old classic songs that have been around since our childhood. They will be repeated over and over on the radio and playlists during our family get togethers. For me, this gets old quickly and my music loving mind needs to find some fresh new holiday music. Fortunately I came across the just released Connected album from Gitit Shoval and family today.
The renowned Israeli vocalist began her career at the age of 13 earning fame singing in Israel’s Pre-Eurovision contest. Since then, Gitit Shoval has gone on to record 6 solo albums and perform all over the world to rave reviews. After marrying music producer Ron Druyan, she settled down her music career for a while and became known as the Hebrew voice of cartoon characters such as Smurfette and Barbie. The birth of their daughter Tutti completed the musical family. Now the threesome have gifted us with their new album Connected.
The 13 track album is a journey into Jewish Spiritual music and prayers perfect to freshen up the sounds of the holiday season. A successful Kickstarter campaign helped put the album together as well as a virtual concert series made especially for this rather difficult year. It offers the hope we can all use right now.
The album opens with “R’Tzei” (Prayer for Acceptance) highlighting the amazing vocal prowess of Gitit Shoval. Even though I don’t understand the language, the soaring highs fill the speakers impressively. The talents of bassist John Patitucci are added as well to add to the top notch production. The beauty of “Oh Elohei Hasheket” continues this journey with dual vocals and harmonies telling the story.
The joy of the artists can be felt in “Hadudaim” as the bouncy beat dances around the speakers with the skill of Ron Druyan producing. I challenge anyone to not dance along to this one. We switch gears with the more subdued “Mi Ha’Ish” pulling at the heart and soul of the listener. The diverse flavor adds more layers to an already interesting listen. “Sim Shalom” stays in this vein with a pleading vocal delivery welcoming all into the peace of the season.
The well known High Holy Day prayer is taken to new heights on “Avinu Malkeinu”. Violin, stripped piano and strong vocals take over the space with elegant beauty. We are all transported to a peaceful place of tranquility. Connected closes with an upbeat take on “Oseh Shalom” that is ready for the playlist of any holiday gathering. A complete record of spirituality and joy.
Find more info, music, and videos at www.GititShovalMusic.com