Formed from long standing friendships and mutual musical interests, whose distinctive sound has been embraced internationally, the Hevreh Ensemble returns with MESEROLE STREET, a collection of works from composer and ensemble member Jeff Adler. With music inspired by friends and family, nostalgia, and several compositions influenced by the 2020 pandemic, the ensemble employs a variety of instruments both common and unique, namely the Native American flute and the shofar horn. From the cold feelings of isolation in Alone to the resounding emotions of hope in Freedom Day and more in between, the Hevreh Ensemble’s close-knit relationship and signature sound once again proves their notion: “good friendship makes for good music, and great stories.”
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Track Listing & Credits
|01||Perihelion||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Jennifer Vincent, double bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion||5:55|
|02||Meserole Street||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Jennifer Vincent, double bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion||4:22|
|03||The Prentice Farm||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Naren Budhakar, tabla||3:20|
|04||Freedom Day||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Naren Budhakar, tabla; Ralph Farris, percussion||7:26|
|05||21 Practice||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Jennifer Vincent, double bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion||4:04|
|06||Spirits that Dwell Within the Grandmother Tree||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble||6:23|
|07||Older Ways||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble||5:03|
|08||Central West End||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble; Jennifer Vincent, double bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion||4:06|
|09||Quantum Mysticism||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble||5:00|
|10||Too Late to Matter||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble||6:04|
|11||Alone||Jeff Adler||HEVREH Ensemble||5:07|
Judith Dansker - oboe, English horn, Native American flute
Laurie Friedman - clarinet, Native American flute, shofar
Jeff Adler - bass clarinet, Native American flutes and drone flutes
Adam Morrison - piano
Recorded October 6-8, 2021 at Oktaven Audio in Yonkers NY
Producer Ralph Farris
Recording Engineer Ryan Streber
Editing & Mixing Charles Mueller
Mastering Melanie Montgomery
Executive Producer Bob Lord
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan
VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Hevreh is a Hebrew word meaning “Circle of Friends.” Friendship, relationship, connection— these make up the DNA of the HEVREH Ensemble. Formed and cultivated by a group of friends, both new and lifelong, HEVREH Ensemble is the best kind of chamber group— their “clean, tight, creative… aesthetic that defies description” (Audiophile Audition) makes it abundantly clear that this is a group of people who know each other well and who work intensely and closely together.
“For several of the compositions on this album, I was influenced profoundly by the pandemic lock down in 2020. Emotions portrayed in the works range from reflection in Older Ways, to sadness in Alone and to joy for the gift of healthy family and friends in Perihelion. Freedom Day conveys my hope for a post–pandemic world.”
Often I find that the music speaks for itself, and a catchy title will come to me that is whimsical in spirit and has no direct relation to the piece. Such is the case with Perihelion and 21 Practice.
During the pandemic lock down, I listened to West African music for an uplifting diversion. Perihelion is inspired by that vibe. In this piece guest artist, percussionist Shane Shanahan, trades solos with Hevreh pianist Adam Morrison.
Spirits that Dwell in the Grandmother Tree
A friend of mine lives in rural North Carolina in a 250 year old house that is built next to an ancient tree. I have often felt the presence of the many spirits that live in the tree.
My father grew up on Meserole Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and lived there until he joined the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Written in a swing style, I have tried to recapture the feel of the street from those times.
Without the pandemic, I believe that I would never have written this work, which reflects the feeling of isolation that so many felt during this time. The extreme low register of the bass clarinet lays out a slow and meditative bass line that accompanies plaintive lines of the clarinet and English horn.
This piece is written for English horn, clarinet, and piano in a style of composition that I used more in my past. With soulful and slow melodic lines, it is also based on a yearning for less technologically complicated times.
Central West End
I named this piece based on my observations after a visit to this area of St. Louis MO. I was impressed with the diverse neighborhood with elegant turn of the century architecture and an open eclectic spirit.
The day I received my second dose of the vaccine, I coined the term “Freedom Day.” I also felt a strong sense of hope for the world.
I have always been fascinated by concepts of advanced physics. In my mind, the deeper one delves into science, the closer you get to witnessing the workings of God. In this piece, the complicated displaced rhythms create the effect of the ground moving under your feet, much like the constantly evolving theories about the origins of the universe.
The Prentice Farm
Tim Prentice is a renowned kinetic sculptor who lives and works in bucolic West Cornwall CT. For many summers he has generously hosted Hevreh for concerts held in his barn surrounded by his soaring artwork. The piece was written in memory of his late wife Marie Prentice. Our amazing guest artist Naren Budhakar (tabla player) joins Hevreh on this piece. The bell–like and gliding strokes of the tabla weave gently throughout the work.
Too Late to Matter
This work expresses my concern with our world’s inability to deal with climate change. It is a composition that is filled with frustration but ends on a hopeful note with the sound of the shofar.
– Jeff Adler, composer