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Esther Ofarim In London

BB 024LP BB 024LP

LP version. The Bureau B label presents a treasure from Israel's incomparable Maria Callas of pop & folk, Esther Ofarim. Appearing on CD for the first time, her eponymous solo album from 1972 has been given the new title Esther Ofarim In London. This masterpiece was produced by no lesser figure than Bob Johnston, famous for having produced legendary albums by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, and Simon & Garfunkel. Esther Ofarim In London sounds both composed and confident. Attentive listeners will hear a forceful orchestra behind what is a tender, fragile atmosphere. This bombastic, yet intimate quality is exactly what the producer was aiming for. The tracks were recorded in three sessions at the Command Studios in London, where Johnston enlisted the British arrangers Nick Harrison, Will Malone and Bob Merci. Once the recordings were completed, Johnston flew back to his home town of Nashville to mix the tapes. The extent to which he reduced the instrumentation in some places was nothing short of drastic. On one track, he removed almost the entire orchestra, leaving a basic framework of guitar, bass and electric piano. Johnston and Ofarim displayed wonderful intuition in their selection of songs, with compositions by Leonard Cohen sitting comfortably alongside some by Johnston and the musicians he worked with at the time. The result is a gently shimmering necklace of poetic pearls, sung by one of the most sweeping, heart-rendingly beautiful voices in folk/pop history.