£13.99 including postage.
Polina Shepherd – vocals 1-11, piano 1, 3-6, 8-11
Merlin Shepherd- clarinet 1, 8, 9, saxophone 4, 10, drum 1, 8, bass 1, 8
Rohan Kriwaczek – bagpipes 1, 7, 10
Recorded at Yellow Fish Studios, Sussex May 2014. Engineered by Jake Rousham. Produced, Edited and Mixed by Merlin Shepherd.
1 Who? פַאר װעמען זָאל איך שרַײען folk / P. Shepherd Yiddish, Russian 2:49
2 Silver Birch Серебристая береза P. Shepherd Russian 3.17
3 Birch Tree בעריָאזקע David Einhorn / P. Shepherd Yiddish 3:57
4 You are my Heart דו ביסט מַײן הַארץ Folklore / P. Shepherd Yiddish 3:28
5 Angel Ангел P. Shepherd Russian 3:43
6 The Silence didn’t last long Недолго длилась тишина P. Shepherd Russian 2:08
7 Three Centuries Ago Три века назад P. Shepherd Russian 07:08
8 Enveloped by the Night נַאכט בַאהויערט Osher Shvartsman / P. Shepherd Yiddish 3:26
9 Place me like a Seal טו מיך ַארויף Song of Solomon 8:6-7 traditional / P. Shepherd Yiddish 5:01
10 Ay yay yay wordless P. Shepherd 8:51
bonus 11 Our Father, our King אֿבינו מלּכנו traditional Hebrew 4:18
Total time: 48:02
Ari Davidow review on KlezmerShack:
The standout voice, the woman everyone wanted to hear at this year’s Ashkenaz Festival was Polina Shepherd. Readers of these pages over the years will not be surprised—you have read reviews of her singing with choirs, with brass bands, with just her husband, Merlin Shepherd, and friends. She plays an amazing piano, but it is her voice that you notice. Amazing range. Beauty, and a force of nature. Born in the former Soviet Union, this recording is a tribute to both her Russian and Yiddish roots. She sings of love and longing, universal yearnings, whether, say, in the Russian “Silver Birch” or the more modern Yiddish of “Birch Tree;” from folk melodies, to Eastern European “scat,” here a wordless prayer in “Ay Yay Yay;” whether the text comes from the Song of Songs, “Place me like a seal,” her own poetry (most of these pieces), or evokes life, itself, in the Yom Kippur plea, “Avinu Malkeinu” (Our Father, Our King).
Shepherd’s voice is transformative.