Today's New York Times profiles Reboot Stereophonic, a new non-profit record label reissuing (stay with me here) classic space age bachelor pad Jewish music. The first release, available next week, is Irving Field Trio's Bagels and Bongos (1959), followed over the next several months by a Gershon Kingsley compilation called "God Is A Moog," and Joe Quijano's "Fiddler on the Roof Goes Latin" (1965). One of the Reboot Stereophonic co-founders is my pal David Katznelson of the excellent and eclectic Birdman Records label. From the NYT article:
Mr. Kingsley, too, pried Jewish music from its traditional foundation, but where Mr. Fields looked to another culture for inspiration, Mr. Kingsley took to the technology of his time. Already a virtuoso on the Moog synthesizer – his songs have more recently been covered by Kraftwerk and sampled by RJD2 – Mr. Kingsley, who learned to play piano on a Palestinian kibbutz and who worked as musical director for several Los Angeles synagogues, composed entire albums of songs for Jewish religious ceremonies. Two of them, "Shabbat for Today" and "The Fifth Cup," will be included in his Reboot Stereophonic collection. The Moog is a quizzical, at times mournful instrument, and the religious compositions Mr. Kingsley wrote on it are invariably strange: in places ominous, elsewhere blissful. The compositions turn religious reverence on its ear; the Moog sound, with its infinite modulations, invites and suggests questioning.
"I am a religious composer who doesn't like religion," Mr. Kingsley said.