Soul Aviv CD Release

Soul Aviv SoulAviv has produced a CD of the same name. The vocal group is located in Santa Barbara, CA. Members are three women: Erin Berkowitz, Jamie Green, (vocals and percussion) and Liat Wasserman all singing with Rob Raede, vocals and guitar. The recording features music aimed at “tikkun olam” or making the world a better place… featuring the sounds of gospel, soul, reggae. Additional tracks include a number of original songs by Rob Raede featuring Jewish themes. The album’s vocal focus is energetic and highly entertaining. Some of the songs are “standards” recorded many times, such as “Wade in the Water” and “Rivers of Babylon/One Love” which joins a traditional gospel tune to Bob Marley’s hit, or “Oh Had I a Golden Thread by Pete Seeger. While not definitive editions, they are well done. But other items include “Feel the Power” and “Naomi’s Song,” and “Modah Ani” by Bob Raede. Jamie Green also contributes “We Need Love”. SoulAviv doesn’t try to pretend that the gospel music is “Jewish” or vice versa. The first song, “Feel the Power” the text could be from either tradition..However, the blending flows out of combining the common threads of the “soul” or essence both in general and Jewish contemporary spiritual traditions. “Feel the Power” is in reggae rhythm while “Modah Ani” clearly reflects Jewish threads ala Debbie Friedman. The weakest selection is “Lean on Me” but still the beauty of the harmonies and the voices carries it. Generally, a very reliably entertaining album with a touch a soul from mixed traditions.