Music News

Irving Fields/Roberto Rodriguez

The 12 tunes on Oy Vey! Ole! are joyous junctures; it's a place where Afro-Cuban rhythms, traditional klezmer/Hebraic melodies, pop immediacy and economy, and jazz-enriched élan coalesce into convergences of cool. Ninety-something pianist Irving Fields wrote songs performed by Dinah Shore, Xavier Cugat, and Sarah Vaughan and had a hit instrumental album (Bagels and Bongos) in 1959. Percussionist Roberto J. Rodriquez is a Cuban-born, New York City-based percussionist who immersed himself in Miami's hotbed of Jewish culture, and aside from leading his own bands, he's played with Ruben Blades, Joe Jackson, and Marc Ribot. It's an unlikely pairing of hepcats, but it works. Just listen to the ebullient mix of sounds: Tango at the temple with the elegant "Piruli." Then sip cocktails to the suave "El Polaco" and pretend you're swathed in intrigue in Madrid, Tel Aviv, or Brooklyn (or Boca Raton, for that matter). Oy Vey!... Ole!

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Mark Keresman