Mark Bloom covers a range of style — blues, funk, jazz, rock, salsa and swing — in his new double-CD album, Holidays in Bloom. In the run-up to the Festival of Lights, the Plymouth-based musician includes “Jumpswing Dreydl,” a Hanuka song for hep cats who want to cut a rug.
On the minor holiday theme, there’s “Chanukah Menorah,” with a bright Latin tinge; also, “Brown Fried Pearl,” an ode to the latke, which recycles the melody from “Brown Eyed Girl,” the classic Van Morrison tune.
The Hanuka songs have been released previously on one of Bloom’s albums; but Holidays in Bloom brings together songs for every Jewish holiday (even Lag B’Omer), with contemporary arrangements and played by some of the most talented musicians working in the Twin Cities, and other parts of the country.
Augmenting Bloom on keyboards are local Jewish players Rabbi Sim Glaser, Andy Morantz and Bobby Schnitzer, guitar; Bruce Kurnow (now living in California), harmonica; Ronny Loew, saxophone; Ken Freed, a violist with the Minnesota Orchestra who plays violin on the album; and Shai Hayo, percussion.
Among a long list of vocalists are Cara Michele Fish (a member of the national touring company of Cats), Rose Horovitz, Rabbi Joe Black (formerly of Temple Israel in Minneapolis), and the Amos and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School fourth grade students and faculty. Also, Rick Recht, a popular Jewish rocker in the contemporary liturgical music bag, plays guitar.
Among the non-Jewish luminaries on the CD set are Dave Jensen, trumpet; Kathy Jensen, saxophone; A Prairie Home Companion drummer Peter Johnson; vocalists Cynthia Johnson (“Funkytown”), Patty Peterson and Fred Steele et al.
Bloom, who has been nominated three times for the American Jewish Song Festival, is known for his Jazz Shabbat and Nefesh Shabbat programs, which he has produced at more than 55 congregations across North America. He performed recently at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Toronto. Holidays in Bloom is his seventh album.
For information about Holidays in Bloom or booking Mark Bloom for a musical program, contact Marquis Music at 763-553-2679, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to: markbloom.com. — Mordecai Specktor