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Leon Rosselson "The Last Chance" Fuse Records CFCD008

There are a number of reasons to buy this CD. For starters there's the price - only 6 including post and packing. Then there's the fact that all profits go to Medical Aid for Palestinians. Extra donations can be sent direct to them at 33a Islington Park Street, London, N1 1QB. Then, of course, there's the opportunity to own "four songs on Israel/Palestine" as the sub-title has it. As well as the title track - unforgettable to anyone who has heard it either on "Perspectives" or on its original vinyl - there is "The Song of Martin Fontasch" from "Intruders" and two new-to-me pieces that have already stirred me to send my sick squid Islington Park Street-wards.

"It's not a nation, not a religion, this Jewish spirit is still unbroken." punctuates "My Father's Jewish World", written at the behest of the Wren Trust. Uncharacteristically for a Leonsong, it contains a wealth of personal and family detail, perfectly illustrating the part of the insert notes where he admits to arguing "the rights and wrongs on both sides" for half a century. Less ambiguously, "They Said." tells of the massacre of 120 Palestinians at Deir Yassin in 1948 - a place that no longer exists on any map.

If you're interested in Leon's work, this is essential. If you watch the news or read the papers, you will welcome this devastatingly well-informed and unique perspective. The number of reasons to buy this CD continues to grow as the review ends.

Alan Rose

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This album was reviewed in Issue 49 of The Living Tradition magazine.