King Django’s Roots & Culture
As I put King Django’s Roots and Culture into my CD player, hit play, and heard the first twenty seconds, a huge grin crept up on my face. I laughed, whipped out the insert that so conveniently transcribed the English alliteration for the CD, whose lyrics are about 90% Hebrew, and said to myself, “I can’t believe this exists.” I had no idea Jeff Baker was such a religious fanatic, but between the Star of David with a Zionist tiger jumping through on the cover, a paragraph praising God on the back, and a pretty good Hebrew accent, one would get the impression pretty quick.
I assume this is the Jewish answer to the countless number of Christmas albums that come out every year, but I just couldn’t seem to enjoy myself while listening to King Django do a cover of the prayer “Ya’aseh Shalom.” Included on the CD also are covers of more prayers such as “Heveinu Shalom Aleichem,” instrumentals that take ska and overly-inject traditional Hebrew music such as “Ska Mitzva,” and a number of original tunes that are primarily in Hebrew but do occasionally translate themselves for the divine message in English. I can’t in all honesty completely trash the album, because it certainly is a valid attempt at bringing more of the Jewish culture to the forefront of the musical community. But unless you’re a devout religious person or are aiming to please the folks at your next temple get-together, the album just might not motivate you to listen to it after its initial novelty wears off. Triple Crown Records, 331 West 57th #472, New York, NY 10019