Album Reviews & Comments

“Jill’s music and song absolutely elevates every arrangement of my material.” – Ray Scudero (1946-2005), singer-songwriter, Israel

“Your music is not just appreciated and admired – it is loved.” – A.N., Sweden

“Che bella voce!”

“I am enjoying both A Lone Voice and Still Life – you are such a talented songwriter! I love your honesty, as well as your voice and music.” – A.S., Scotland

“Your voice is beautifully magical and has a wonderful timbre. Like faery music played on butterfly wings.” – S.M., Israel

“Thank you for sharing your glorious gift of music with us.” – J. & C. A.

“I know as simple fact like I know the sun will come up tomorrow that any time I miss a Jill Rogoff concert, I miss something beautiful and uplifting. I so enjoy the glory of her voice. I so enjoy her harp. Not many times in life do we get to hear such music.” – S. S., Israel

“I’m always embraced by the voice and the variety of music.  I find it soothing, emotional and always interesting.  I frequently play different discs depending on how I’m feeling at the time.” – P.S., USA

“Your voice is crystal clear and like a bell, extremely beautiful with your harp playing.” – S.M., Israel

“Love your singing.” – Joe Newberry, singer-songwriter, USA

“I’ve been listening to your CDs, Jill, and they are even more enchanting now that I’ve met you: I can see why your music is such a help with the harp work that you are doing.” – L.C., USA

“I just want Jill Rogoff to know that although I don’t speak the languages she sings in, other than English, it doesn’t matter because she has such a beautiful expressive voice so full of feeling and emotion that it surmounts any language barrier.” – D.K.

“I continue to enjoy Jill’s cds.  For some songs, it is like I hear them again for the first time and something new lodges in my heart.” – H.M.

To a Singer
(For Jill)
by T. Kline ©2005

Sing at evening to the darkness, friend,
Marvellous maker of the many spaces,
that you fill fuller with our deeper longing,
setting there the water and the trees.

Silence, and in that silence a tower rises,
or a cloud, leaves change their shape, waves fall,
and inside us is all that transformation,
whatever space beyond time makes of time,

Feels us, makes us greater by its presence,
dawn light in the midnight of the spirit,
raises a ladder where there is no ladder,
and lets us climb and see beyond the wall.

Sing, friend, from all your many spaces.
Bring to the single sense all of our senses.
Make of them the first, the ancient circle,
that binds us to each other and the Earth.

Still Life
JR008
[released 2016]

“I am enjoying both A Lone Voice and Still Life – you are such a talented songwriter! I love your honesty, as well as your voice and music.” – Anne Shivas, poet, Scotland & USA

“Listening to your music is a tonic for heart, soul and mind.” – A. N., Sweden

“Wow! Gorgeous! I love the quality of your voice, the choice of songs, the accompaniment… Kol hakavod: Beautifully done. WONDERFUL! ” – S. B., Jerusalem

 “Jill’s music has a beautiful and interesting feel to it. Her harp playing has a lot of polyrhythms and her vocals are very subtle: they’re different with each genre of music that she sings.” – Mitch Clyman, Muso Productions, Jerusalem

“Wonderful! You’re so creative. And your arrangements are all very good.” – Miriam Meltzer

“Lovely recording.” – Judi Lewis, Tzora Folk Club host

“I love it. Your voice is so wonderful!” – D.S., USA

“Just finished listening to the CD and it’s absolutely amazing! My goodness, what a voice! Soothing, calming, healing… if anyone ever doubted that music is medicine they should listen to you… full of wonder.” – A.N., Sweden

“It’s amazing, beautiful music… very talented, as usual” – D.R., USA

“It’s beautiful!.” – Sally Rogers

 

For Healing
JR007
[released 2013]

“You play beautifully.” – T.R.

“Really subtle and beautiful, and SO soothing.” – S.B.

“Exquisite. I love it. Am playing your harp album now… It’s so soothing, so wonderful and so healing… You Are Magical! :-) ” – A.N.

“Your CD is wonderful! I was working on something that was very difficult, but the music kept me all calm and composed.” – C.B.

“Sublime and so comforting! I am loving every second of the healing music.” – D.S.

“Jill, I wanted to let you know how MUCH I love your harp CD…  It has never been off my car player since I first put it on and it DOES help to calmly manoeuvre through LA’s rotten traffic.  You are very, very talented. SO PROUD to know you.” – C.K.

“…most enjoyed already – what a pleasure! Thank you and, once again, thanks for the healing you offer to Sha’arei Zedek patients” – B.R.

“…a beautiful CD.” – A.S.

“[We] have had much pleasure listening to your music… [and] are immensely proud of knowing you Jill…” – R.F.

“Such a quiet, peaceful moment. I loved it.” – D.C.

“Your music is stunningly beautiful… I treasure the moments that I can sit and just listen… I put it on this morning before I woke the children up and it made for such a relaxing atmosphere to get them off to school in. Thank you again so much!” – H.H.

“Your CD… is wonderful, you go from strength to strength. It is getting a good deal of airing in this holiday season. “ – G.D.

“I’ve been listening to it all morning, and I’m already a nicer person.” – W.H., Jerusalem

Harp Music for Babies

FNN31102010
[released 2013]

“Again!” – N.S. (aged two, at the time)

“L. loves his harp music.” – S.F.

“Your harp music is beautiful! I will play it as S’s lullaby.” – Y.G.

“Wow! Lovely lovely lovely!!!” – T.G.

“Thank you for the wonderful musical gift for Y’s birth. We have been listening to it and helping Y. get to sleep with the gorgeous music.” – S. F.

A Lone Voice JR006

A Lone Voice
JR006
[released 2012]

 ”I am listening to your beautiful a cappella CD: what a joy!” – MW, Israel

“What a brave and bold concept executed wonderfully. The results are stunning. To The Island [is] one of the best vocals on the CD. This one is original… but sounds ancient. [Jill's] vocal performance is very strong. Really loved the imagery of the lyrics. Really enjoyed listening to this terrific project.” – Acoustic Rainbow

“M and I have listened to all the songs. To the Island is very special to us and we will always treasure it. I am sure we will play the CD often in future days. You are a good singer, Jill, as well as a good composer — a multi-talented person.” – Rev. J.S., Scotland

“Absolutely stunningly beautiful!” – A.N., Sweden

“Beautiful. This one is really for connoisseurs.” – M.R., Israel

“Our thanks and delight in your new album! Just lovely and what an accomplishment. Those who don’t love a cappella just haven’t heard this yet.” – K.M., USA

“We are just now listening to the beautiful voice of Jill, unaccompanied. Truly moving – thank you for this.” – David Willey & Judith Harris, Italy

The Voice of the Wanderer JR005

The Voice of the Wanderer
JR005
[released 2006]

“A masterpiece! It is more than just ‘great’ and ‘fantastic’: this is THE definitive album of Jewish music. I’ve been listening to recordings of music in Yiddish and Hebrew for years, and there’s simply nothing else like The Voice of the Wanderer. Jill has done for Jewish music what Cecil Roth did for Jewish history, and every Jewish community around the world should avail themselves of a copy. They don’t know what they’re missing! Jill’s voice is beautiful, rich, and sounds just perfect. The whole production is simply superb.” – R.L., New Zealand

“Like everything Jill does, it’s perfect.” – Matilda Koén-Sarano, folklorist, Israel

“Mum loved your CD! She had the chance today to listen… and she enjoyed it very much. She said that she knew a few of the songs and had much happiness in listening.” – J.W.

“Bravo! I just received your new CD… and I have one complaint – it ended too soon!!!! It is wonderful, evocative, beautifully done, with a quiet joy, reverence, musicality, and love that I know is so much a part of you.” – Rabbi J.R., USA

“I know I keep saying this with each album, but this one is the best yet. Etz Hayim Hi just blows me away… You’ve done our tribe proud!” – T.O.R., New Zealand

“Wonderful! The selection is beautifully varied, and the texts are fascinating… the translations provided are excellent. We think you are creating something rare and valuable. Much of this music may be lost if it is not kept alive…” – A.S.K.

“This is a marvelous work of art and research and beauty. I’m looking forward to sharing it with others. …thank you for your artistry.”

“The album is amazing… it’s one of your best yet. It’s not only extremely well done, it’s a service. You are bringing special music to people who otherwise would probably never hear it, and consequently, keeping it alive. Hats off! Simply wonderful.” – J.K., USA

“I love your arrangements and the use of all the different instruments. Your voice is so expressive and there is so much variety and musicality.” – Sunita Staneslow, Israel

“What I’ve heard so far is gorgeous. Your voice is so lambent and distinctive, you should copyright it too, besides the arrangements!” – J.M., New Zealand

The Voice of the Wanderer – so aptly named! – is a real treasure! I’m impressed (but not surprised – I know you!) with the variety of the selections, your versatility of style, and the careful, precise annotation… I was carried away on an adventure, hearing the strange yet familiar voices and words and rhythms … One of my favorites is the last piece, Shadumad…” – Professor Gloria Ascher, USA

“We have listened to The Voice of the Wanderer several times right through. …Your voice sounds in places almost transformed. It is a natural folk voice but has additional subtleties and strengths, and unusual linguistic feeling. It is now a much stronger voice than I recall on your last visit to Wellington. It must be all that ballroom dancing!” – James MacNeish, author, New Zealand

“Enjoying listening to your CD. I haven’t often heard you sing in the lower part of your voice before: wonderful sound!”

“Dear wanderer, dear bellbird… no bellbird has ever sung as you sing, nor any wanderer …How could we have known or imagined how your voice would develop, your range, your timbre, your scholarship, and with them that bell-like purity in the higher tones, the warmth of the lower notes, the musicianship. …I don’t know how you do it. Wanderer is simply stunning… I know it’s going to be one of my favorites. Everything is just right – the arrangements, the choice of songs, the mix of languages – but most of all, Jill, I love your mature voice. In many ways this album makes me think of Miriam Makeba, in terms of color or conveying emotion. The Voice of the Wanderer is particularly dear to me, with its echoes and memories.” – Helen MacNeish, journalist, New Zealand

“For me to like a CD, it has to be musically stimulating, have meaningful or poetic lyrics, or both. I listen intently and if I like it, I’ll play it frequently, but never as a background for my busy day. Jill Rogoff’s CD, The Voice of the Wanderer, is the first exception to this paradigm.” – J.K., USA

“Ten years in the making, this collection of traditional Jewish songs is like so many fine things that take years to come of age. Jill’s collection has emerged rich and mellow to intoxicate our souls and gently kindle sweet memories.

“Being such a lyrics person, it’s uncommon for me to enjoy songs sung in languages with which I’m not familiar — on this CD, Jill sings in six of them plus Hebrew, and I thoroughly enjoy each one: she has taken great care with pronunciation and enunciation. I turned to the CD insert and the notes provided on Jill’s website for an explanation, and found them informative and delightful. Jill explains how she sought “people who could help me with the translation and pronunciation of the various dialects I needed. It has been a fascinating journey, bringing into my life not only exquisite music, but also some delightful people. Not all were willing to give me the time of day, but most of my contacts were only too happy to share their knowledge and skills with me.” “There are of course songs in Hebrew, Ladino and Yiddish; but there are also songs in Aramaic (the language that was spoken in this country [Israel] two thousand years ago), Farsi (from Iran), Arabic (one of the southern Yemenite dialects), and Kurmanji Sorani, a dialect from the Kurdish region of Iraq.”

“Jill has chosen the less-is-more approach: instrumentals and background vocals are interwoven as complements to her skilled renditions of these traditional pieces. Had Gadya is particularly haunting: it simply gives me goose bumps! Mitch Clyman, accompanist/vocalist/recording engineer/co-producer, has matured immensely. His expert musicianship mixes at perfect levels in the back- and foreground. Betty Klein and Rahel Jaskow’s harmonies, and Abe Doron’s percussions round out the pieces in which they participate.

“And so I have found the one CD I can both let play in the background and listen to intently. Is it the haunting melodies and arrangements that attract and lull me so? Or is it the vague, foggy memory of a language heard as I drifted into child-sleep on a buttoned, pinstriped mattress in my grandmother’s home, so many, many years ago?

The Voice of the Wanderer is a must for every Jewish/World collection, and would make an excellent, unique gift to anyone, anywhere in the world.” – Joanna Scudero, Folk Notes Israel, October 2006

In the Heart of Winter

In the Heart of Winter
FNN1007021
[limited edition, released 2006]

“Your disk of Ray’s songs is beautiful and full of passion and wonderful singing… Kol Hakavod! I was crying when I heard it.” – B.K., Israel

“…beautiful… a consistently fine piece of work” – A.S.K., USA

“Wow! I’m lost for words! The raw emotion is so close, so personal… This is absolutely your best work so far.” – T.O.R., New Zealand

“It will take time for the full measure of the wonderful CD to be felt. Right now, mostly tears in response to the deeply moving sound of poetry and music and your singing with such connection… I cannot thank you enough for this loving and living tribute to Ray… He lives!” – C.R., USA

“What a very special tribute to Ray, straight from the heart… I listen through tears… it is a treasure.”

“The Benefit Album arrived in yesterday’s mail. We listened to your beautiful music and lyrics all afternoon and into the early evening. Thanks again for the opportunity to participate in honoring Ray’s memory… he was a special human being.”

“It is very beautiful and touching. This CD is very special and it will …bring long-lasting pleasure to all that are privileged to hear it.”

The King's Well JR004

The King’s Well
JR004
[released 2003]

“What a nice job you’ve done. The songs are lovely and I think you’ve done a particularly nice job of recording. The recorded sound is clear and right up front.” – Tom Paxton

“The songs are very touching; [Jill's] voice, as always, is amazingly clear and beautiful, and I particularly like the explanations … it adds an additional depth to the significance of the songs – wonderful!”

“I love the music you write and the tunes and also the stories that go with them.” – S.P., USA

“…there is such emotional wisdom in her lyrics — personal, yet universal!” – H.G., Israel

“A beautiful production in every respect – from the outside cover to the last note on the inside.” – R.L., New Zealand

“I’ve been playing it and playing it and playing it: it’s brilliant.”

“The result is beyond anything I could have expected, and my expectations from Jill’s recordings are never low.” – J.L.

“Jill has truly given of her spiritual being to these songs and we are the richer for being able to hear them. I am always deeply moved when I listen to the Ladino CD and this latest one sends me down my own memory trail…” – J.G.

“Jill’s new cd is superb. The words are very touching; the music, as always, is wonderful.”

“It’s a very gentle and personal statement that she’s done. Her music is very special.” – J.G., Israel

“Such a treat… I love it! It is so nice to have all her wonderful songs.”

“…such a wonderful mixture. All those exquisitely sad and melting Rogoff melodies… I shall listen and listen to it…” – Helen MacNeish, journalist, New Zealand

“This is just a wonderful recording of eleven songs, mostly with words and music by Jill, the others being poems or traditional songs set by Jill to her music. It is a combination of lively music and rich poetry. The songs display a range of musical styles with medieval, Celtic, and Ladino influences and are beautifully arranged. There are songs of protest, elegies for people and places, meditations on life lessons and healing songs. The songs are personal, yet universal, with a range and depth of feeling. Some of the songs treat difficult subjects but have a grace that is redemptive. Jill’s clear voice is a constant: strong and warm. Many of the songs stem from Jill’s life: her childhood and youth in New Zealand, her adult life living on the edge of the desert in Jerusalem, Israel and her children.

1. The Healing Sound of Water: One of the Healing songs, with the wise lines “I can’t stay suspended in my past” and “the healing sound of water fills my heart”.

2. Aa My Life: A setting of a poem celebrating life-long love by New Zealand born, Scottish poet Sydney Goodsir Smith: “thou sall be my luve alane/Aa my life leelang”.

3. La complainte de la Blanche Biche (the Lament of the White Doe) is a haunting traditional French song that reminds us of how we often unknowingly harm those we love… and our own souls…

4. Come Again, Love: One of the elegies, [this] must touch the heart of anyone who has ever waited for a loved one, not knowing if they would return safely. “Come again, love, come again/ Skim the foam safe home to me”.

5. The King’s Well: Another lyrical and wise healing song, with exuberant, celebratory Latin rhythms and some wonderful guitar playing: “let the ripples soothe your tension and the stones absorb the sound”.

6. Time for Letting go: An elegy for place and people, and the need for letting go as life moves on… “I can’t go back the way I came on the river’s endless flow”.

7. Down the days: A meditation on the necessity of leaving childhood behind as we move into adult life, and the difficulty of passing on life’s lessons to those we would like to help.

8. The Route March: This poem by Australian poet Henry Lawson is a protest… with the fifes and drums of war in a song for peace. The poem reminds us of the consequences of war after the pageantry that accompanies troops going off to battle.

9. Racheli: A poignant and beautiful elegy in memory of a friend of Jill’s daughter who was killed at a grocery store in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem.

10. A Piece of My Heart: A love song to those we love who are far away.

11. Identities: A fierce, humorous, cultural protest song with Latin rhythms about hateful ideologies and mindless materialism, reminding us: “If you can’t solve all the world’s problems/ you can put the little things right/ then you will have an identity to keep you warm at night”.” – Anne Shivas

Dí Ke No Es Tadre album cover

Dí Ke No Es Tadre
[Say It's Not Too Late]
[released 2002]

“Bravo à notre chère Matilda Koen Sarano qui signe les paroles de ce très beau Dí ke no es tadre sur une musique d’Avraham Reuveni. Les chants sont interprétés par Idit Rozen, Yossi Levy et Jill Rogoff. 14 poèmes de notre chère Matilda. Qui disait qu’il n’y avait pas de renaissance pour le judéo-espagnol! Bravo Matilda, encore.” – Moïse Rahmani, BELSEF, 14/01/03

“Konosida prinsipalmente por sus livros kon kuentos del folklor djudeo-espanyol, Matilda Koén-Sarano se esta distingiendo tambien, ultimamente, por las poezias ke esta eskriviendo para servir de baza a muevas melodias – provando ansi una vez mas, ke la lengua i la kultura djudeo-espanyolas estan ainda bivas i no solo en el kampo de los kuentos i de los kantes populares tradisionales.

“Los 14 kantes del disko Dí Ke No Es Tadre kantados por Idit Rozen, Jill Rogoff i Yossi Levi, sovre melodias de Avraham Reuveni, se oyen kon plazer, por la ermozura de sus tekstos i melodias, ma eyos son tambien una importante kontribusion al esforso ke es echo para renovar la kreasion poetika i literaria en ladino komo prova de su vitalidad.” – Aki Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, no.71, March 2003

“Il résulte d’une efficace collaboration tri-polaire. Un bon compositeur, Avraham Reuveni a mis en musique avec beaucoup d’attention, de sentiment, treize poèmes de Matilda Koén-Sarano et les deux ensemble ayant judicieusement choisi trois interprètes talentueux… A noter que la prononciation est irréprochable!… L’ensemble est frappant par la connivence réussie entre le texte, sa mise en musique et son interprétation par trois vrais artistes convaincants.” – Jean Carasso, La Lettre Sepharade, Paris, no.45, March 2003

The Celtic Lullaby album cover

Celtic Lullaby
winner of the Parents’ Choice Award
[released 1996]

excerpts from reviews on Amazon.com

“…the emphasis in this collection of 19 songs is on gentleness, but this music is so seldom heard that it’s endlessly enticing. The Celtic lullabies range from three-part Welsh carols to the overtone-tinted wooden flute of Chris Norman on Now I Am Asleep to several showings for acoustic harp that highlight vocals by singers such as Jill Rogoff and Ann Mayo Muir. The unfortunate trend of globetrotting CDs that lose all their geographic specificity is easily bucked here with songs sung in Manx Gaelic and the more familiar Irish. The set even takes into account the farthest reaches of the Celtic diaspora by including a religious Nova Scotian melody with mother Mary singing to the baby Jesus, Tha mi ‘g altrum Righ na Múrachd (I am nursing the Almighty King, for all you non-Gaelic speakers)…” – Andrew Bartlett

“Hushed, tender, always pretty but never precious. Dare I call it the sleeper of the year? Highly recommended for rush-hour driving.” – Boston Globe

“…My spell check’s gone crazy!… even if you can’t pronounce the names, the songs are beautiful, enchanting melodies sung in English, Irish, Manx, Scottish and Welsh Gaelic. Take two before bedtime.” – John Wood, L.A. Parent

“This lovely collection of lullabies works as an excellent collection of mellow music from Celtic artists or as a great set to lull the youngsters to sleep — and into liking the music. Celtic Lullaby provides a wonderful introduction to the poetic side of the Celts. Musically, voices, flutes and harps blend into an enchanting, ethereal web of sound pleasing not only to young ears, but also to adults who love new age, traditional Celtic music or balladry.” – Art Menius, Independent Weekly, Durham, NC

“Risky business, putting together a collection of lullabies. By their very nature, you shouldn’t be awake at the end. But Celtic Lullaby avoids the built-in pitfall by presenting a variety of intriguing recordings… the album continues, wending from one style to the next, linked gently by the common theme.”

“The music comes from Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Wales (though it would have been nice to have had some input from the European mainland, too.) Many of the performers are new to me… Overall, it works excellently and is a good opportunity to hear lesser-known performers along with some long-time favorites.” – Jamie O’Brien, Irish Edition

“…a treasury of folk music for afficionados as well as for sleepy heads, eases the spirit in many languages in songs from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Nova Scotia and the Isle of Man. With emotional content that ranges from sunny to more melancholy hues, the album features veteran folk artists in hauntingly lovely multi-part harmonies, a cappella solos and instrumentals on harps and flutes.” – Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times

“One of the more unusual releases of the year, Celtic Lullaby (Ellipsis Arts) is the rare offering that actually lives up to the claim ‘for all ages’. In this case, even toddlers should appreciate this lyrical compilation of songs sung not only in English, but also in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Manx. And for the older set? Well, the simple melodies, sung by the likes of Jean Redpath, are a salubrious sedative to even the most harried soccer moms and dads.” – Dewey Shurman, Islands

“Seldom heard traditional lullabies from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and beyond. Ethereal and enduring, each of these cradle songs has a melody that delights and lingers within the listener whether baby or adult.” – First Toys

“To this day my now two year old loves this CD. I find myself popping this into the car CD player after spending a tiring day at the beach or park. My son relaxes in the back seat while looking at a book. It is like an old friend. This CD will always hold fond memories for me. I hope you enjoy it too.”

“…I recommend this for not only babies and young children, for anyone who needs to relax.” – Christine M. Henry

“Buy this for beautiful melodies, a variety of instruments, fine and interesting voices in different languages that are strangely compelling. If you have a Celtic heritage, especially, buy this for the the children and for yourself.”

“I asked for this disk as an afterthought. I did not realize that I would listen to it roughly 3,000 times. My husband didn’t believe the soothing affect this disc had until he was in the car with us. I’m of Irish background, so the dark, disturbing lyrics don’t bother me and if you’re of Celtic extraction they won’t bother you either — you’ll be used to them by now. The baby sleeps and I am happy.” – Siobhan D. Mulroy

“I listened to this CD of Celtic lullabies twenty or thirty times before reading the liner notes. Although I couldn’t understand most of the songs – they are sung in Gaelic, Scottish dialect, Cymric, and Manx Gaelic as well as a few words in English – I found the music cheerful and gently soothing.

“Then I read the liner notes.

“Scratch cheerful.

“I suppose it was too much to expect the Celts to be cheerful. Many of these lullabies also double as laments. The last track of the CD, Darling Gregor is a wife’s lament for her executed husband, chief of the Clan MacGregor of Glenstrae. The last verse your baby will hear as he or she falls asleep is ‘My sweet-spiced apple/ Lies with the back of his head to the ground.’ Luckily, your baby probably doesn’t understand Scottish Gaelic.

“Various singers and instrumentalists recorded these lullabies, all of them specialists in their particular branch of Celtic music. Scottish folk singer, Jean Redpath might be the best-known artist on this CD. She sings Hishie Ba unaccompanied, which is ruefully perfect for this Lowlands lullaby since it expresses the viewpoint of an unwed mother.

“Most of the songs have minimal accompaniment on instruments such as guitars, lap harps, mandolins, flutes, whistles, and small pipes. Morag’s Cradle Song/Water Kilpie and Now I am Asleep are instrumental pieces for harp and wooden flute, respectively.

“The voices range from a pleasant, but nasal baritone, a husky alto who sounds consistently flat to an ear unaccustomed to Celtic music, a softly blurred soprano, to a Welsh choral group called Plethyn, who sing eerie, four-part harmonies. Some of the solo voices double up upon themselves through the miracle of modern recording techniques. Other than this, none of the singers go in for complicated vocal techniques. All sing in a tender, disarmingly simple fashion.” – E.A. Lovitt

“… the liner notes are well worth perusing as a brief introduction to the magic of Celtic lullabies. I was especially taken by the warning: ‘Be wary of translations that rhyme, especially – they often completely misrepresent the original!’.”

“I am not sure about my baby, but I love this CD!” – Mir Islam

“Delicate, a warm Celtic cradle rocking …I have given this CD to 12 people now and BEG you all to try it. Heartfelt and oh so cute. Like a fairytale in song…”

“Simply Superb! Celtic music is SO perfect for lullabies. This CD makes you feel like you have a warm blanket wrapped around you, while rocking in your grandmother’s rocking chair. It is impossible to resist. Perfectly conjures images of lush, green, rolling hills of yesteryear. Five Stars!!”

“Truly excellent. I own over 1,000 cds. One of the best. My three month old daughter goes to sleep every night to this cd. We own many lullaby cds, with many other types of cds/music as well from across the globe, but this is the one she likes the best. I find myself humming the songs all day myself. Musically, the album stands alone as an excellent compilation of Celtic songs.”

“We registered for this CD for our new baby. When I went into labor early I hadn’t yet finished my hypno-birthing class or purchased any meditation CDs for the labor. My husband grabbed this CD along with some classical and Enya CDs for me to listen to while I tried to use meditation to ease the discomfort of labor. This was the only CD that worked! I LOVED the music so much that even post delivery I listened to it often with my newborn. Now we listen at home and both parents and baby enjoy the soothing music.” – Allison O’Neil

“Wonderful, calming music. I bought this because I was desperate to find something that would calm my fussy baby. He loves this CD. He calms down immediately when he hears it. And, the music is not the annoying kids stuff like Barney. It is actually pleasant for adults, too. I highly recommend this CD. I will be purchasing it for my pregnant friends.”

“One of our favorite CDs, and we’re grown-ups… A lovely and intelligent selection of songs, inspiring and meditative to work by (we’re artists), and soothing at night.”

“We have played this CD so many times since my daughter was born that I know it by heart. The music is wonderful and isn’t intrusive at all.”

“From crying to sleeping in 2 tracks or less… I bought this CD out of sheer desperation while at a ‘baby fair’. This is the one and only CD I can really count on to calm my son down… The info inside is interesting… and the lyrics (although some’s in a different language for most of us) are in there if you want to try to sing along. …If you get one lullaby CD, truly, this one will work.”

“My husband and I both love Irish Traditional music and we decided to try this tape for our daughter, hoping it wouldn’t be overly sentimental. We were delighted from the first hearing and are still enjoying it. More importantly, our daughter loves it too! We keep it in the car and play it whenever she gets fussy; she is out before the second song plays. It is especially helpful when she is teething. I am now buying a copy for all of my relatives and friends with babies and toddlers. This is a tape that babies will continue to love as they grow and adults won’t tire of hearing it.” – Lauren Williams

“Who said lullabies are just for children? This is a beautiful, soothing music that will help you sleep like a baby. It’s one of the best Celtic music CDs I have.” – ‘Olas’

“We received no less than 20 lullaby-type CDs as gifts for our newborn son and this is the hands-down winner! My son has slept to it now for 16 months. Every night. It’s ritual. He never makes it past track 4-5 before he’s out like a lamp. Then, we the parents enjoy hearing it, strange though it may sound, translated in distant mono through the baby monitor…as if given some distant authentic echo… So atmospheric, yet so true, rootsy, and melodic. Excellent!” –  Samuel Kilmer

“Like others who have reviewed this CD here, we were given this CD as a gift, and our daughter has listened to it every night (no joke) for 20 months. It’s incredibly soothing. She helps us hit the ‘play’ button because it’s so part of our routine! I can’t wait to give this CD as a gift to someone else!” –- David Grady

“My daughter has been listening to this tape at bedtime for most of her 20 months. We find it soothing and unique and when she’s ready for bed she says ‘Enini’; (the first song) to let us know to start the music.”

“This CD was given to us as a gift when our son, Liam, was born. We have turned it on nearly every night when he goes to bed for over 2 1/2 years now. He’s been learning Irish while he sleeps. We’ve played it so much that we need to buy another one. This is great music to raise your children on. Our son’s a sweet, charming boy… we’re convinced, the lullabies have played a role.” – Sean J. Creighton

“For all insomniacs (such as myself) this CD will help to lull you to sleep gently and soothingly. An excellent investment!”

Across the Narrow Seas JR003

Across the Narrow Seas
JR003
[released by Alcazar Productions, 1996]

 “I played Across the Narrow Seas for the first time and I was stunned. The clarity and sweetness of Jill’s voice is really something else.  – Rev. Paul Bedford

“The essential thing about Jill Rogoff is her voice, an instrument of great purity. She often turns in performances that are quietly stunning in their own understated way… a quietly uplifting experience.” – John O’Regan, broadcaster, Ireland

“…a beautiful CD. Lovely recorded sound. Jill Rogoff’s voice is very clear and every word makes its mark.” – Sean Day-Lewis, journalist, UK

“Jill Rogoff’s latest recording is pure magic. She gets better all the time. Her voice has a purity of sound which remains in the ear like a fine high bell… the a cappella singing is wonderful.” – Helen McNeish, journalist, New Zealand

“Jill Rogoff approaches ancient Celtic tunes with a deep understanding and respect, and brings a sense of history and timelessness to contemporary tunes. On this release, Jill explores a wide range of material — traditional ballads to contemporary compositions, poignant lullabies to lilting jigs. Her original arrangements are highlighted by her sterling soprano voice…” – Alcazar

“…this marriage of talent and cultural tradition is absolutely golden… a musical pot o’ gold…” – Tribune, USA

“… a beautiful program of traditional Celtic ballads. Her clear, lilting soprano and intelligent lyrical interpretations set this album apart from the vast number of others in this genre.” – Tim Tavcar, The Label

“I think the whole CD is musically fine, and [her] voice is very beautiful. Particular favourites are The Golden VanityThe Three Fishers which I first heard Joan Baez sing live in Manchester many years ago but I think [this] version is subtler and more complex musically, The Conflict, a poem I know from a collection of poetry of the Thirties and which applies to all such conflicts, She’s Like the Swallow for its sheer beauty, and the title track itself for its sentiments. [She] convey[s] a lot of sweet feeling in [her] work, and that is something I appreciate… a fresh and different musical experience.” – A.S.K.

“Jill Rogoff’s voice is melodic, pure and delicate, which fits perfectly with the reflective and, in some cases, quite nostalgic lyrics in these folk songs. My favorites: Far Over the Forth, King of the Pipers (a light-hearted instrumental), If I Were a Blackbird and She’s Like the Swallow. I like the fact that Ms Rogoff derives her inspiration from such obscure, yet beautiful, things like Gaelic poetry (Across the Narrow Seas) which, in turn, definitely makes this album a beautiful listen indeed.” – K.S.

Across the Narrow Seas is Jill Rogoff’s second collaboration with Mark Powell and the musicians at Meadow Farm Studio. The first (The Celtic Cradle), an album of lullabies in eight different languages, won awards from two major parenting magazines. The current recording is mainstream Anglo-Celtic repertoire; a marriage of songs from different periods and places, mostly in and around the British Isles. Like all good marriages it incorporates something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

“Starting with The Golden Vanity (old, and with as many versions as there are two syllable European countries), Jill moves from England to Ireland to Scotland using an eclectic collection of instruments (it’s worth reading the insert) and her wondrous voice to bring us stories of valor, treachery, love and betrayal.

“The instrumental arrangements flow in and around the songs and the one instrumental, King of the Pipers, demonstrates a lovely harmonic complementarity, with the instruments supporting rather than competing with one another. Likewise, Jill’s voice has developed tremendously in the ten years that I have been listening to her and on this recording it comes through true, rich, clear and vibrant.

“All thirteen cuts on this disk are a pleasure to listen to (and I should know since I played the album more than thirty times before I sat down to write this review), but some really stand out. The Conflict – the meter of C. Day-Lewis’ poem does not readily lend itself to a musical setting yet Jill’s composition fits it to a ‘T’ and her performance brings out all of its inherent drama. If I Were a Blackbird – the beauty of the song is particularly enhanced by Jill’s delicate harp playing. Through the Night – this is the second of Ray Scudero’s songs that Jill has recorded and her performance does more than justice to his poignant lyrics and music. The Union – this counterpoint of voice and bodhran (Irish drum) works exceptionally well and should be a source of disquiet for any Tory within hearing. Across the Narrow Seas – it is fitting that this is the last song on this disk since anything that followed would be anti-climactic. This is the first time (to my recollection) that Jill has used other voices on her recording. It was worth waiting for, as the effect of the choir is simply outstanding.

“Despite my overall satisfaction with Across the Narrow Seas, I found myself with a sense of something missing and it took me a while to realise what it was. Anyone who has ever attended one of Jill’s concerts knows that, under her rather serious exterior, lurks a zany sense of humour. This album lacks zane. I suspect that this was the result of doing the album in a studio since Jill’s zaniness requires an audience much in the same way that a squash ball requires a squash court. This caveat notwithstanding, Across the Narrow Seas is Jill Rogoff at her best. Those that know her music will understand just how good that is and those that don’t, would be well advised to find out at their earliest convenience.” – Marc Gittelson, Folk Notes Israel, June 1997

The Celtic Cradle

JR002
winner of the NAPPA Gold Award 1995
and the Parents’ Choice Silver Honour Award 1995
[released 1994; re-released 2017]

“The most beautiful album – our kids heard it endlessly. Highly recommended!” — Cara Zizemski

“Lovely and relaxing for kids and adults alike.” – T.O.R.

“The music and the singing brought tears to my eyes.” – Leslie Isacowitz, Woodsong, Israel

“Celtic culture is responsible for many of the most hauntingly lovely melodies in all the world. Not surprisingly, Celtic lullabies in particular are rich with gorgeous melodies. Silver-voiced Jill Rogoff… has gathered 17 of the most striking lullabies from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man, on her compilation The Celtic Cradle. Rogoff’s silken soprano and spare arrangements enrich the songs without overpowering them, bring out the warm glow of these ancient treasures. The album features a heavenly version of the Welsh Suo Gân. Rogoff performs it unaccompanied, allowing the sweet caress of tune and words, beautiful in their foreignness, to shine unadorned.” – Moira McCormick, Billboard Magazine

“It is a joy to see work as unique and fine as hers!” – Parent’s Choice, USA

“Jill Rogoff has the purest, most shimmering voice I’ve ever heard… Even though it is a collection of lullabies, The Celtic Cradle will sooth stress for anyone at any age.” – R.R.

“… parents will appreciate the diversity and the haunting Celtic overtones to a set of beautifully-done vocals.” – Reviewer’s Bookwatch, Vol. 3 No. 2, February 1996

“This is the voice of an angel! Jill’s angelic soprano voice, coupled with her knowledge of languages, allows her to sing songs of many cultures with authenticity. Her voice is the primary instrument on the recording. Although these are lullabies, this is not a recording to put you to sleep. You would be doing yourself a great disservice if you miss the daydreams brought forth by these songs.” – Kyle Reese, Into the Music

“Rogoff’s pretty, reverent-sounding soprano shimmers as she sings a cappella, performs on the lap harp and is accompanied by such instruments as uillean pipes and mandolin. While all lyrics are printed in English as liner notes, the lullabies are sung predominantly in their native Celtic languages.” – Publishers Weekly, 5/15/1995

“…Rogoff’s hauntingly lovely voice is backed by instruments such as lap harp, uilleann pipes, guitars, mandolin and piano. Her performance has a softness and clarity that young children will appreciate. Even if you’ve never listened to Celtic music, this collection of soothing lullabies is a perfect way for a child (and family) to relax.” – Jill Jarnow, Sesame Street Parents, December/January 1995/96

“Jill Rogoff possesses a clear, gentle and disarming voice perfectly suited to this varied collection.” – John O’Regan, broadcaster, Ireland

“The songs are beautiful and comforting to the soul. . .I’ve listened to each track and know they will be among my favorites.”

The Celtic Cradle’s absolutely fantastic. She has such an amazing, angelic and beautiful voice. All I can say about her voice is “WOW”!! The music is lovely.”  – VF-A, India

“…well performed, soothing and relaxing, and the instrumental background complements and adds richness to the lyrics. Excellent for calming children (and parents!).” – Sandy Doggett, Booklist, November 1995

“…the quality is very good and Jill’s captured a mood of quiet and peace throughout.” – John Coy, UK

“A lovely collection of Celtic lullabies from Jill Rogoff, possessed with a beautiful, lilting voice, and crystalline delivery.” – Tim Tavcar, The Label, USA

“A soothing collection of long-ago lullabies with Rogoff’s sterling soprano and a gorgeous array of accompanying instruments… Even a Rogoff original, Right By Your Side, is at home with the others – and just as lovely.” – Parenting, November 1995

“The world’s most breathtakingly beautiful lullabies come from the Celts, and Jill Rogoff renders them exquisitely. Her angelwing-pure voice floats through these nighttime airs, accompanied here and there by lap harp, pipes, guitar and bodhran. All the selections are enchanting.” – Family Fun, November 1995

“Jill Rogoff has produced a new album that can be enjoyed equally by you and your children. The Celtic Cradle is a collection of lullabies from Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall, most in the ancient and largely disused languages of those places. There are also two modern lullabies, one each by Rogoff and Ray Scudero.

“The songs were written – if that word can be used for folk music – to lull children to sleep with soothing metaphors from nature: side 2 floats mainly on the sea – and riverside.

“These haunting pieces are full of the embracing, comforting love which has been the eternal link between parent and child regardless of place. The embrace of the parent behind each lullaby is a protective one; each parent’s words are shaped by his/her knowledge of the harshness and difficulties in the world beyond the home.

“A collection of this sort might seem too homogeneous to sit through at one go. But Rogoff and her two back-up musicians – Steafan Hannigan and co-producer Mark Powell – are multi-intstrumentalists who set the atmosphere and give each number its own identity.

“The nicest setting is the Manx Arrane Ny Niee, pairing Rogoff’s guitar and Powell’s piano in a jolly 3/4-time mood. Rogoff plays the lap harp on several numbers, which adds to the simple yet mystical attraction of the songs; her lap harp is joined by Hannigan on flute for another Manx lullaby, Arrane Saveenagh (Slumber Song), to especially haunting effect. Hannigan – who also plays low whistle and uillean pipes on the album –- provides the sole backing, on bodhran, for the Scottish Gille Beag Ó (Little Lad Oh).On five numbers, Rogoff is unaccompanied; her voice is silky and, in the upper registers, sounds positively ethereal.” – Norm Gutharz, Folk Notes Israel, Vol. 2, No. 10, June-July 1994