Inspiring Voice: Shragee Gestetner – A Rising Star

CDs, Chassidic Niggunim, General, Music, Reviews — By on January 16, 2012 8:16 am

Just when one may think that the Jewish music world was saturated with enough singers, the ” esTeemed” Teem Productions has treated us to Shragee Gestetner, a Haimishe Yingerman that sings songs with a wide range of styles that will please everyone who has taste for Jewish music. He has a clear sweet voice that reminds me of Shloime Gertner. So if you are a Gertner fan like most of us, you gotta get hooked on to Shragee!

The album consists of 11 songs. 5 are composed by Yossi Green – himself a multi-faceted composer and the best in the business. 3  are composed by Shragee himself and he is not a novice in composing great songs. For example, Shragee composed a song Anim Zemiros  for Shloime Daskal’s album. The remaining 3 are composed by Pinky Weber, Ari Haas and Moishe Peretz Schwartz.

Most songs are arranged by Shua Fried who is an amazing arranger and keeps getting better.

The songs on the album that stand out the most are as follows:

#3- Malei Mishalois Libi composed by Shragee is a hauntingly beautiful song. At the 4:10 mark, he comes in like a backup vocalist in a big time powerful way that’s very meoirer.

#5 – Kerachem Av composed by Yossi Green is a really hartzige nigun. (It’s funny that the last time I remember Yossi composing a song with these words was with New York School Volume 2 in the 70’s…) But you gotta hear this song…. Chamoil, Chamoil,Chamoil al ameichu….and the arrangements at the end of the song…very touchy.

#6 is Dayoy composed by Moishe Peretz Schwartz – The words are “Ma yisoinein ho-odom chai, dayoi shehu chai”. I remember hearing a drasha from Reb Zelig Pliskin that always talks about happiness and he mentioned this phrase base on a passuk in Eicha and that once a person appreciates the fact that he is alive there is nothing to complain about. This song brings out this yesoid in a powerful Hora – style way. So if someone fels a little down, he can just turn on this song and immediately start dancing!

#7 is Kesheim she-ani roikeid composed by Shragee. It is upbeat and catchy and reminds me of Dovid Gabay’s Havi’i Bonai from his first album.

#9 song is a leibedike geshmake nigun composed by Pinky Weber called Benei Baischa.

#10 is Uvruchim Heim composed by Shragee. It’s a really varemeh song and maybe the best song on the album. It includes a chidren and adult choir led by Moishy Kraus.

To sum up, when you have a new singer that has the best composer for the biggest portion of his songs, and includes his own compositions ” in er hot nisht vus tzi sheimen” then you know it’s a smashing success.

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10 Comments

  1. HillelKAPS says:

    Very nice article. However, I dont really agree with the last 2 lines. As much as you might be right. (I’m not saying you are wrong). Its unfortunate that it seems many people are taking this route. It seems to be a little too common that people get half their songs from Yossi Green (Even though he IS without a doubt one of the best composers in the JM world) and then put his name on the cover. We are all aware it is to build sales, and thats ok. All these singers are entitled to do everything they can to seel their CD’s. But it almost seems as if they didnt speak to anyone else. Everyone just goes to Yossi, buys 8 songs, and thats basically the album. There is a LOT of talent out there and most people aren’t taking advantage of that fact. It is becoming all too common that unless a famous composer was involved in the making of a song, most people won’t even consider working with it. It really is unfortunate.

    Again, not knocking your review, Shragee, or Yossi Green. Just making what I believe is a valid point

  2. Muser says:

    How do you pronounce “Gestetner”? Is it Ges-TET-ner of GES-tet-ner?

  3. sam says:

    recently got the cd and yes he does sound just like shloime gertner! personally i liked track 1 the most – its got a catchy chorus!!

  4. Inspiring Voice says:

    Ges-TET-ner

  5. Inspiring Voice says:

    I agree with what you are saying that it seems that many talented composers are being left out. I am in the same boat because I composed songs myself and it’s not easy to get it out there. However, this article was just to give a taste for a potential buyer , not an opinion on the state of the music industry. In addition, my point in the last 2 lines was that even if Yossi Green composed 5 songs, Shragee himself composed 3 and they sound pretty much on the same level as Yossi’s if not better. So it’s not a case of someone with just a voice and money to buy songs, but rather one who composes and in the future can compete to with the top composers to make up new stuff for other people’s albums. So in this case, Yossi’s songs don’t dominate the show; it brings out Shragee’s talent to the forefront.

  6. avrami says:

    i almost agree on what you have written but i still think even with the top composers involved in this production its still misssing that one song to make it out there like bayis neeman or yaalili etc… you get my point.. even though i dont judge cd’s by, if a song became a hit or not, because i love a bunch of cd’s either it didnt make it out there or people never heared of it, but my point is that the song selection could have been a little better, it does look like yossi green is trying to get rid of a few songs, and he is entitled too, but when making a cd which costs a fortune you want to give your best, and its shocking because teem productions usually give top notch albums, and this one is a bit of a downfall.
    but over all its a great album and i love listening to it despite the small song selection.
    BTW great review a lot of good points.

  7. moshe deutsch says:

    I agree with evry word hilel has written. I know for a fact nice compositions that has been send to the big name producers. they didn’t even bother to listen to it. when the song will be composed by big name composers then they will listen to it 10 times till they love it. if they wouldve listend to the other songs 3 or 4 times they wouldve fall in love with it. I guess yossy green wouldve had a real hard time getting into the line in theese times.

  8. Inspiring Voice says:

    Thank you Avrami!

  9. chaim says:

    i think this all stems down to quite simply there is too much out there.. every week theres the `new big thing` out, and it just gets hard to be excited about it.

    take lehavdil the iphone (im not a gadget person myself), but when one is announced say a year in advance.. the hype is incredible, until when its finally out, theres so much anticipation and eagerness for the product.

    now imagine if a new iphone would come out every month
    peoples response would be `meh okay interesting`

    see my point?

    im absolutly not comparing a yid to an iphone,
    and i will agree that shragee has a great voice,
    but come on music shops please just slow down….

  10. Mender says:

    Chaim, you can’t make the comparison your making. You have to compare it to businesses. Maybe 100 years ago there was one bakery and one butcher on main street. Today there are 10 bakeries and another 10 online. Every month another pizza shop opens in a Jewish town. Or another sushi place. You want to tell them to slow down? It’s not a collective union of music people that regulates the frequency of new people. It’s individuals who want to take their shot. I think like the bakeries and sushi shops of today. It’s become harder to pick the winners from the losers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t all have the right to try to impress you and make you a fan. 

    We will never go back to the days of 3 singers. The world has changed. We need to change as consumers. Today’s consumer has to be wiser and research before you buy. 

    just like the pizza shops. Just because every month a new pizza shop opens does that mean you lost your ability to decide what good pizza taste like?

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