The Wire - pp.62-3
"[A] music that extends beyond races and historical boundaries."
Pharoah's Daughter: Basya Schechter (vocals, guitar, oud); Benoir (vocals, electric guitar); Tracy Love-Wright (vocals, clarinet, flute, crumhorn); Martha Colby (vocals, cello); Jen Gilleran (vocals, tabla); Jarrod Cagwin (dumbek, frame drums, hajini drum, percussion).
Additional personnel: Matt Turk (vocals, mandolin); Anthony Coleman (vocals, harmonium, cymbals); Corin Stiggall (vocals, upright bass); Shira Kiline, Victoria Hana (vocals); Matt Darriau (bag pipes, clarinet, saxophone, kaval); Ted Reichman (accordion); Dayla Reiff, Eliezer Wimer, Zachary Kessler, Adam Vida Depaz, Tsivia Morris, Mordechai Epstein (background vocals).
Engineers include: Courtney Connell, Rob Friedman, Tom Nishioka.
Principally recorded at The Knitting Factory, New York, New York.
Out of the Reeds is an absolutely gorgeous album from Pharoah's Daughter. Leader Baysa Schechter learned Hebrew and Yiddish as a child, then joined a stepfamily of Syrian descent. It is this multicultural background that informs the music of Pharoah's Daughter. Tabla and dumbek provide the rhythm under Schechter's beautiful voice and acoustic guitar or oud. Flute and cello add a sublime richness as she sings traditional liturgical texts in Yiddish and Hebrew. Despite the appearance of downtown players Anthony Coleman and Matt Darriau on several tracks, the music has a very traditional and reverential Middle Eastern feel. The haunting melodies are derived from traditional Jewish music, Armenia, and even West Africa. Pharoah's Daughter manage to combine these musical traditions in an utterly complementary fashion, resulting in a work of uncommon beauty. ~ Sean Westergaard