David Chevan: The Days of Awe (2003)
Chevan's playing is expansive. His bowing, slapping and plucking successfully convey the emotional magnitude demanded by this music. African hand drummer Baba David Coleman and drummer Alvin Carter Jr. have no trouble keeping up with offerings that touch on funk, klezmer, Afro-Cuban and straight-ahead jazz. Both trumpeter Frank London and lap steel guitarist/fiddler Stacy Phillips adeptly translate the expressive cantorial improvisational approach to their instruments. London is perhaps the most expert at channeling the spirits as he calls up a meeting between the late Cantor and Hugh Masakela on rocker "R'tzeh Atiratem (May our offering be acceptable)" before Mixashawn delivers a killer tenor sax solo.
Chevan, Phillips, Byrd and clarinetist Will Bartlett also take turns at leading the service with excellent results. Standouts are a hauntingly beautiful "Hineni, Heani Mima'as (Here I am with my meager accomplishments)" and an extended version of "Al Khet (For the sins that we have committed)." The latter begins as a meditative call/response between guitar and trumpet that finds its groove as a jive trio piece. "V'khol Ma'aminim (And we all believe)" starts with funky piano and bass and then moves through markedly melodic changes. In the end, Chevan makes believers of us all.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. And as For Me, My Prayer is for You (V
Record Label: Reckless DC Music