A note from Yosef Gutman Levitt –
I’m really excited to share a track “Chai Elul” from my album “Soul Song” with you all. I had the pleasure of working with Lionel Loueke on Guitar, Omri Mor on Piano, and Ofri Nehemya on Drums.
“Chai Elul,” which translates to the 18th of Elul, is a significant date in Jewish tradition. It marks the birth of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. The piece was composed with this spiritual journey in mind, starting in a calm and introspective mood before transitioning to a lively South African rhythm.
We recorded this live in a studio right here in Jerusalem. It was quite something – playing together, feeding off each other’s energy. I’ve got to say, it’s one of those experiences that just reminds you of why you fell in love with music in the first place.
Lionel brings his unique guitar style, Omri adds his touch on the piano, and Ofri sets the beat with his drums. All of this comes together with the acoustic bass guitar, creating a fusion of sounds that, I hope, will take you on a journey of reflection and celebration.
Whether you’re a musician yourself, a jazz enthusiast, or just someone looking for some new music to enjoy, I hope you’ll give “Chai Elul” a listen. Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you like what you hear, don’t forget to share the love by liking, sharing, and subscribing. Thanks for listening.
‘Soul Song’ is the forthcoming album by Yosef Gutman Levitt, leading a quartet that includes world renown guitarist Lionel Loueke.
Videography: Yanai Lein
PRE – ORDER HERE:
Vinyl available in a limited edition of 100 units
Lionel Loueke – Guitar
Omri Mor – Piano
Ofri Nehemya – Drums
Yosef Gutman – Bass
Produced and Arranged by Gilad Ronen
Executive Produced by Yosef Gutman Levitt
Recorded in Jerusalem Israel
Mixed and Mastered by Lars Nilsson @ Nilento Studio, Sweden
All original music written by Yosef-Gutman Levitt and Gilad Ronen
Traditional Nigunim arrangements by Gilad Ronen
Lionel Loueke appears courtesy of Editions Records credits
releases June 23, 2023
Recorded in Jerusalem, Israel
Mixed and Mastered by Lars Nilsson, Nilento Studio, Sweden
© 2023 Soul Song Records. All rights reserved.
official album bio:
When South African-born bassist Yosef-Gutman Levitt made the journey to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, he encountered a number of likeminded souls there. One of them, a guitarist originally from the West African nation of Benin, had come to Berklee from Paris. His name: Lionel Loueke. After moving to New York, the two continued to nourish their musical bond on a weekly gig in Brooklyn.
Their paths diverged: Loueke became one of the most sought-after musicians of his time, signing to Blue Note and joining the bands of Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, among others. Levitt left the music business, got married, started a family, found success as a tech entrepreneur, and moved to Jerusalem in 2009 following a spiritual rebirth. By 2018, he returned to music and began to refine a distinctive voice on the five-string acoustic bass guitar, his musical calling card, heard to great effect on his debut trio album Upside Down Mountain.
Reuniting after many years, Levitt is excited to share his new album with Loueke, Soul Song, available on his recently launched label of the same name. The album reflects a mutual love of music played from the heart, with melodies clearly and lyrically expressed. Pianist Omri Mor and drummer Ofri Nehemya complete the marvelous quartet lineup. The tracks are primarily Levitt originals cowritten and arranged with producer Gilad Ronen. Levitt plays mainly upright bass, preferring to accompany Loueke rather than attempt to share the lead melodic role. “Lionel is bringing himself to the music, he’s coming as a player,” Levitt explains. And what you give a player like Loueke is all the room he wants.