Performances for a fortunate few recorded in the living room of singer songwriter and composer, Kobi Oz, led to the release of this intriguing album, Footsteps of a Dream. This home environment was perfectly suited to the songs of the late Arik Einstein, one of Israel’s most beloved singers who sang about his love of staying at home. These songs, known by almost every Israeli, were written by Hebrew poets such as Hayim Nachman Bialik, Leah Goldberg, Yankale Rotblit and Avraham Halfi with music composed by Shem Tov Levi, Shmulik Kraus, Yitzhak Klepter, Shalom Hanoch and Miki Gavrielov. Oz presents these songs in his own unique style creating a cohesive link between different musical worlds.
Oz was born to a Tunisian family in 1969, and his grandfather, Rabbi Nissim Mesika, was a Paytan (composer of Jewish liturgical poetry). He began his musical career, as a young keyboard player in the acclaimed Sfataim Band, and since 1988, has been the principal singer and songwriter of the popular band, Tipex, creating original Israeli pop rock. Footsteps of a Dream is Oz’s fourth solo album, bringing together seemingly distant worlds of Piyyut (Jewish liturgical poetry), pop, rock, music of the Maghreb, Greek and Turkish music, and electronic music. A wonderful new world is created, and it becomes clear with only a brief overview of the participating instruments which include Oud and Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar and Electric Bass, Darbuka and Cajón. Spiced up with a zesty and charismatic stage presence and a deep clear voice, he is accompanied by seven fine and refined musicians forming “a sincere and authentic expression of the heart,” as Oz says.
This project received critical acclaim and inspired thoughtful attempts to define the genre. “Old-time favorite Israeli songs with a flair from ethnic and Jewish prayer music and poetry,” writes blogger Netanel Laifer on the Kipa website, and adding that, “almost every text sung by Oz comes across as a prayer.” Shai Lahav states on the Ynet website that, “This is a wonderful album,” describing it as exquisitely resetting heirloom jewels, “resulting in a homage to a legacy with respect originality, brilliance and a fresh interpretation.” Footsteps of a Dream by Kobi Oz, the wizard, is simply a splendid masterpiece of Israeli music.
Kobi Oz Footsteps of a Dream
Kobi Oz Vocals
Adam Mader Mandolin, Violin, Trumpet, Ocarina, Viola, Flugelhorn, Vocals
Noam Chen Cajón, Bongos, Bendir, Darbuka
Sefi Asfuri Oud, Violin
Roei Tsaadi Guitar, Vocals
Mickey Shaviv Bass
Johnny Koren Keyboards, Vocals
Daniel Krief Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals