Neil Levin’s liner notes, like nearly all his others for Naxos’s series on American Jewish music, are clumsily written and overblown. Rabbi Mortimer Leifman provides translations from the Hebrew with superfluous theological commentary and two ears of solid lead.
As conductor, Kingsley keeps things moving. Rhythms are sharp, consonants enunciated and crisp. Of the soloists, I liked soprano Lisa Vroman and Cantor Howard Stahl best. Vroman took an easy approach to Kingsley’s jazz and pop rhythms, while Stahl has a ringing tenor…it does have its attractions.