When you go online today, or in your LJS (that’s Local Judaica Store), you see the faces of many new young singers. Every season brings a new crop of guys who are young, fresh, full of energy and ready to take on the world and show they will be your next biggest JM rockstar.
This isn’t a review of one of those guys.
Pinchas Wolf is a composer who just released his first album, at the age of 69 years old. It’s an incredible story of “It’s never too late”, that will inspire you and give you strength to go out and do something big! Pinchas’s story can be watched here in this interview, and it in you will see that while this is his first album, he has been composing for many years, including songs on Yehuda Green’s recent album, and other tracks that have made their way to albums many years ago.
During recent medical complications, which you can hear more about in the above mentioned video, R’ Pinchas decided, now is the time to finally get his music out! He enlisted the help of brilliant producer and arranger Naftali Schnitzler and together they enlisted other singers to perform R’ Pinchas’s beautiful compositions.
1 – Uvineu Yerushalayim – Shimmy Engel
The first track is a wonderful and catchy tune, sung by the amazing Shimmy Engel, who captures the words of this song perfectly, a great album opener to get you in the mood of whats to come and still leave a great melody in your head.
2 – Ani Maamin – Yoely Greenfeld
Many people are calling this song the next great hit. A song about faith and remembrance, Yoely’s vocals are powerful and soul stirring. The song can easily lead you to tear up, it calls back to the holocaust where we lost so many yiddishe neshomos. R’ Pinchas writes in the booklet that he closed his eyes and thought of this terrible tragedy, and the music came pouring out. (Hear the song here)
3- Gila Rina – Mordechai Shapiro
Speaking of exciting new singers with energy and new albums, how about Mr. Schar Mitzvah? Mordechai Shapiro, not even months off his own debut album, lends his vocals to this great dance song, which will you have tapping your toes in no time, and singing this “Gila Rina, Rina …” for days! Do not fight it, and why would you even want to?! It’s a great song, possibly one of the top 3 on this album. Mordechai does an awesome job, and the music by Naftali Schnitzler keeps it fresh and fun!
4- Torah Tziva – Benny Friedman
Benny Friedman sings this great track with the classic words of Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe. Benny Friedman does not need any introduction, and here he sings this strong track with pure emotion. The Kids choir adds so much to this track, and the music is outstanding! Listen for the beautiful violin interlude at 2:37.
5- Ivdu – Yoely Greenfeld
It’s Yoely again! Yoely Greenfeld sings these great words, Ivdu Es Hashem! A fast song with many great hooks! The song increases in power and tempo as it goes on, as of course our Simcha in serving Hashem should as well! The very strong brass section in this song also lends to it’s movement and arrangement.
6- Akavya – Shimmy Engel
Shimmy is quickly becoming to go to guy in Jewish Music for memorable vocals. Akavya, with words from Pirkei Avos, sung artfully by Shimmy. You will instantly fall in love with this classic ballad. R’ Pinchas shows his experience in composing, and bringing this song together. The music, by Naftali also is just as artfully arranged as the vocals by Shimmy. This is a top favorite!
7- Sameach T’samach – Shlomo Simcha
This album features many amazing singers, but also singers that have either just recently or are about to release their own albums. This shows how much the singers must have loved these songs to be featured on other albums either right after or right before their own albums come out! Shlomo Simcha as of this review being written has just released his own album, his first in 9 years, and he shows you on this track why Shlomo is still around after all these years. Shlomo Simcha is a legend in this industry, and he sings this great composition by R’ Pinchas with so much power and nails every note! A wedding song you will want to hear at every single Simcha you are at! Request it! Book it! This track features some additional amazing violins as well as brass.
8- Shuvi – Dovid Gabay
Yet another artist fresh off the release of his own album! Shuvi, is a song we don’t hear so often, and it’s clear why Dovid chose this song for himself. It showcases his beautiful voice along with the simple yet beautiful arrangement by Naftali. Another song you will grow instantly to love and hit the repeat button on! By the end of the track you will also be singing along, Shuvi Shuvi Shuvi! Shuvi Nafshi!
9- Hashamayim – Benny Friedman
Wow, the brass on this album is top tier! A great intro to this old fashioned but updated Nigun style song. Another song that fits the singer so well! Benny lifts this composition up along with the great job by Meshorerim Choir!
10- Ki Hinei – Shlomo Simcha
A double dose of Shlomo Simcha! This time on a solid ballad by R Pinchas. The Meshorerim Choir once again shines here. I can’t say enough about this great group, who help the entire album shine so bright. Shlomo once again brings home these strong words from Yom Kippur with the immeasurable power in his voice. A song you can sit back, close your eyes, and really connect with.
11 – Kadsheinu – Shimmy Weberman
Child wonder Shimmy Weberman joins the albums for the 11th and final track on this amazing CD. When you hear this kid sing, it will melt your heart. The heartwarming timber of his voice, with these very strong words, and the stunning arrangement, with incredible strings and trumpets. You will not want the song to end, or the album. Lucky for you, once the song ends, you can just go right back to the beginning and start it all over again!
I highly recommend purchasing this great album. Not only is it an amazing CD, it’s also so inspiring that at 69 years old, we can learn from R’ Pinchas, it’s never too late to follow your dream and put your heart and mind to something and follow through! Mazel Tov R’ Pinchas on this release and looking forward to so much more from you!