The Sweetest Sounds of Music: Eli Gerstner Presents The
Yeshiva Boys' Choir
By Rochelle Maruch Miller
Mention Eli Gerstner's name to any
Jewish music aficionado and you are sure to elicit unabashed
praise. Small wonder - the musically prolific and personable
performer, producer and composer is perhaps the most
powerful force in the industry as evidenced by the phenomenal
success of every one of his albums, past and present.
Whether it is Eli's own sensational solo albums or the
superb styling of the Chevra and Menucha, every project
that this musical genius has undertaken bears his signature
Midas touch. That virtually every one of his songs has
become a classic is testament to the tremendous scope
of his talent and creative artistry. Eli's musical masterpieces
are the most requested in record stores, on JM radio
shows and at simchas the world over.
It was, therefore, a matter of time
before Eli would embark upon his latest endeavor - the
Yeshiva Boys' Choir, a children's ensemble like no other.
Featuring an exciting sound for 2004, this eagerly anticipated
album is a highly recommended Chanukah gift for young
and old. Featuring a sweet symphony of gorgeous voices,
The Yeshiva Boy's Choir is the perfect panacea for the
winter doldrums - a treasury of musical gems to savor
and set your spirits soaring with a sound that is pure
and richly satisfying.
It was Izzy Taubenfeld, President of
Sameach Music, who first approached Eli with the idea
of producing a new boys' choir. As the premier purveyor
of superlative Jewish music, Izzy felt that the time
was right for a new boys' group that would meet the
expectations of a discerning audience. With his finger
on the pulse of Jewish music, he is one of the most
respected and acclaimed names in the industry. He felt
that the public was ready for a boys' choir that would
bring with it a contemporary appeal, featuring a 2004,
contemporary sound that would be more 'today' and pop,
with a Chevra style. Who better to undertake this endeavor
than the genius responsible for Chevra's success - Eli
That Eli was interested and intrigued
by the challenge was clear from the outset. But it would
be a project of Herculean dimension. "It was a
tremendous undertaking. In order to put together a good
choir, you needed fifty good voices," Eli explained
in an exclusive interview with Country Yossi Family
Magazine. But by coincidence, he received a phone call
from Yossi Newman, a close friend of Eli's since their
camp days. "Yossi had written some songs for me
that are on my solo and Menucha albums, and he coordinates
and directs several children's choirs. He called to
tell me that he was interested in making an album featuring
a boys' choir. I told him that I would mention this
to Izzy Taubenfeld to help get it underway, and when
I did, Izzy was very interested. He said, 'Here is the
perfect opportunity for you to produce an album featuring
a boys' choir. I've been asking you to do this for years.'"
And therein lies the story.
When Eli called his friend Yossi Newman
to tell him the good news, Yossi was elated. As a producer
par excellence, the first step on Eli's agenda when
working on an album is listening to every song. "I
have to really believe in a song before I agree to feature
it on an album," he explains.
"I listen carefully to every song
before I select the ten that I feel will 'blow everyone
away.' I was very impressed with three of the songs
that Yossi composed - they passed the test with flying
colors and are showcased on the album."
For Eli, every musical endeavor is
a labor of love and The Yeshiva Boys' Choir is no exception.
True to his tradition of orchestrating every project
to perfection, this latest release is yet another musical
masterpiece, ready to be unwrapped like a cherished
gift. Featuring ten brilliantly produced selections
by Eli, with the choir conducted by Yossi Newman. With
meticulous attention to every detail of the album, it
represents the very best in contemporary Jewish music.
As he has done in every one of his previous hit albums,
Eli has collaborated with the most respected and renowned
names in the industry - Yisroel Lamm, Larry Gates and
the Neshoma Orchestra - to produce still another Eli
Gerstner classic in the tradition of Chevra and Menucha.
"Every album that I produce features
songs that are arranged by Yisroel Lamm," Eli tells
us. Adding an "old school meets new school"
touch to every one of his albums attests to Eli's affinity
in producing guaranteed crowd-pleasers. On The Yeshiva
Boys' Choir, Yisroel Lamm has arranged "Gam Ki
Elech," "Elokai Netzor" and "V'hu
K'Chasan," each in the incomparable style that
has made Yisroel Lamm a legend. Says Eli, "He always
brings that maturity, that unique sound to every album."
To name any one favorite on this outstanding
debut album is no easy feat. "Kol Hamispalel"
features the same chord progression as "Yihei"
and uses the same format. This opening song is destined
to become a favorite of the thousands who love "yihei."
If "Shir Hamalos" is especially
meaningful to Eli, it is with good reason for he composed
immediately after his wedding. "There's a certain
innocence, a certain 'heartzigkeit' to this song that
only a child can bring to it. This is the first tehillim
that is said in times of need, and I wrote the song
with this in mind. Only a child can bring out the purity
of this song."
"Yiru Eineinu" is a very
lively and spirited song with a distinct style. Gam
Ki Elech," one of the three songs arranged by Yisroel
Lamm on this album, is a beautiful song in the tradition
of Shlomo Carlebach.
"Malochim," composed by Eli
and Yossi, is a true horah - very lively and switches
rhythm from salsa to rock. This song is certain to become
one of the most sought after selections at simchas.
"Adon Olom" is totally unique,
with a distinctive style and piano-oriented. "I'm
very excited about it," Eli explains, his enthusiasm
evident. "It's a little bit of pop and a little
bit of country" - and a lot of terrific, we might
"Yisroel really outdoes himself
in this arrangement," says Eli, describing Yossi
Newman's "V'hu K'Chassan," a slow and very
haunting melody that is distinctively New Age. Every
cut on this album is unique and memorable in its own
right and "V'al Kein" is truly a stand-out
swing selection. Reminiscent of the big band era, it
transcends generations and is the stuff of which classics
are made. You'll love the unique twist and the richness
of the clarinet.
"Elokai", Arranged by Yisroel
Lamm and composed by Eli and Yossi, features the beautiful
voice of soloist Yehuda Leib Sachs. And last, but certainly
not least, is a song that will get everyone - from the
tiniest tots to the much beloved bubbies and zeidies
- up on their feet and dancing. "Tehilas Hashem"
is a song you won't forget. Indeed, by all indications,
it will be the #1 hit of the year. Mesmerizing and upbeat,
this is a "techno" song - featuring all-synthesized
We love the Chevra, we love Menucha
- we're gonna love the Yeshiva Boys' Choir! So run,
don't walk, to the closest Judaica or Jewish music store
to buy your copy of this amazing new release. Take it
from us, it's as good as it gets!