Raised in a Conservative Jewish family, Taubman found success writing music for television (HBO's "Happily Ever After"), film (Disney's "Recycle Rex"). His dozen CDs include whimsical children's recordings about babysitters and bullies, as well as introspective adult pieces that wed ancient Jewish teachings with contemporary life.
"Friday Night Live" shows Taubman at his best. He puts familiar prayers, like the "Shema," to modern music-a formula Christians from Martin Luther to Michael W. Smith have used. Taubman shows reverence for tradition by favoring Hebrew lyrics and relying heavily on clarinets, mandolins, and accordions to create traditional Jewish sounds. Rather than skirting tradition, Taubman embraces it with a poignant new voice that gives Jews a reason to tap their toes.