Chassidic Jazz Musician Shlomo Recu of Crown Heights has released a unique take on the Chabad melody “Anim Zmiros” which expresses the profound longing of the soul for its Creator.
“I will sweetly sing, and weave melodies, for my soul pines for You. My soul craves the shelter of Your hand; to know all Your secret mysteries.”
(The Rebbe taught this Niggun on Simchas Torah, 1961.)
The well-known Crown Heights drummer Shlomo Recu has found inspiration once more, following a challenging past few years after a serious battle with covid. Recu has recently accomplished a long-held aspiration of creating “Niggunim in Jazz.”
Passionate about jazz since childhood, Recu traveled to New York from Israel with the ambition to study music. Not long after his arrival, he encountered Chabad – and chose to attend Yeshiva instead! After some time immersed in Torah studies, with a solid Jewish foundation laid, he subsequently completed a Bachelors in Fine Arts degree at the prestigious Jazz program at The City College of New York.
Recu was embraced warmly by the Jewish wedding and event bandleaders in the Crown Heights community. These musicians mentored Recu in the world of Jewish music education that he had not been exposed to while growing up. Recu became an energetic and joyous participant at the community weddings and celebrations.
With his education and passion are in the genre of jazz, Recu strongly desired to combine jazz with Jewish music, but the task seemed daunting. His unique jazz style was not found in the Jewish music world. With toil, creativity and patience, this new endeavor of bringing his jazz style into Jewish music has proved to be one of a deeply meaningful nature. Recu’s first jazz video is of the chasidic melody “Anim Zmiros”, and is a fitting debut to the jazz project because of the song’s meaning – an expression of the profound longing of the soul for its Creator. It follows that a Baal Teshuva would relate to this in his own personal way and experience this longing to “weave melodies” through his own musical path.