225

Afro-Semitic Experience: Plea for Peace

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Afro-Semitic Experience: Plea for Peace As a Jewish guy married to an African woman and with a new baby boy we like to refer to as "our little Jewfrican, the music of the Afro-Semitic Experience resonates in my household. When we first saw them perform a few years ago at Tonic, we said, "The Afro-Semitic Experience... hey, that's us.

As the group's name suggests, it's dedicated to exploring the deep connections between the African and Jewish musical traditions. If that sounds a bit pedantic—like a civics class in cross-cultural harmony—it's not. Plea for Peace is an infectious, spiritually uplifting, even danceable fusion of West African and Afro-Cuban rhythms, gospel, klezmer, Jewish liturgical melodies, and the thread that binds it all together—jazz.

The Connecticut-based sextet covers a seriously diverse range of tunes: cantorial compositions, Hannukah songs, hymns, a selection from Duke Ellington's "Second Sacred Concert, Billy Taylor's joyful spiritual "I Wish I Would Know How It Feels To Be Free, along with several memorable originals, including the plaintive title tune by pianist Warren Byrd. And its instrumental lineup is eclectic too, including co-leaders David Chevan on bass and Byrd on piano and Fender Rhodes, Stacy Phillips (lap steel and resonator guitars and violin), Will Bartlett (tenor sax and clarinet), Alivin Benjamin Carter Jr. (drums), and Baba David Coleman (hand drums).

All are first-rate musicians. Byrd's a freewheeling Monk-meets-Don Pullen pianist; Chevan, a brilliant improviser with a huge bass sound; and Phillips, the best jazz dobro player you've ever heard, standing out.

Call it experimental multicultural party music or just call it jazz, the Afro-Semitic Experience is an experience not to be missed.


Track Listing: Sente/He's An On Time God; Forgive Us; I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free; Almighty God; Introduction to a Song for When the Temple is Rebuilt; A Song for When the Temple is Rebuilt; Thy Will Be Done; Descarga Ocho Kandelikas; (I'm On My Way to) Canaan Land; Plea for Peace; May It Be Your Will (R'tzeh Bim'nuchaseynu); Reb Dovidl's Nigun.

Personnel: David Chevan: bass; Warren Byrd: piano, Fender Rhodes; Stacy Phillips: lap steel, resonator guitars, violin; Will Bartlett: tenor sax, clarinet; Alivin Benjamin Carter Jr.: drums; Baba David Coleman: hand drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Reckless DC Music | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Hawniyaz" CD/LP/Track Review Hawniyaz
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!