All My Relations
All My Relations
Cochemea Gastelum is coming home to connect with his roots. After nearly 15 years of touring the world with Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, the saxophonist offers a deeply personal album of jazz and indigenous-influenced rhythms. All My Relations, out on Daptone Records, is 10 tracks of mesmerizing and spiritually ascendant instrumentation. Originally conceived during Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings’ final year of touring, Cochemea and Daptone’s Gabe Roth cast a varied but familial set of New York musicians to bring All My Relations to life. A large portion of the album was created through improvisation and collective writing, where its 10 musicians created a melodic, percussive conversation. “It was a beautiful experience – people would start playing and we’d work up these arrangements on the spot, then record it.” The album begins with an invocation and plays like a story– from “Sonora" (the home of his Yaqui ancestors ) to the Mexican huapango rhythms in “Mescalero” and “Song of Happiness,” which is partly derived from a Navajo melody, Shii’ Naasha.’ The track “Asatoma" is an ancient prayer from India. In Sanskrit, it prays for guidance to grow from darkness to light, to distinguish the real from the unreal, and to be guided from death of the physical to the immortality of the Spirit. As a body of work, it is an acknowledgement of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: people animals, insects, plants. It is a celebration of life.
Vol 2: Baca Sewa
Vol 2: Baca Sewa
The Dap-Kings' electro-sax space warrior returns with a groove-heavy sequel to All My Relations, Vol. II: Baca Sewa. Drawing on ancestral memories and family histories to wrap new flesh around the bones of history, this album is a bold, semi-autobiographical work that leads us deeper into the annals of family histories, mythology and the cultural imaginary. “Baca Sewa” is Cochemea’s original family name prior to colonization. The melody was composed by cousin Anthony Gastelum and features vocals and drumming by the Baca Sewa Singers- a group composed of several generations of family members. The album runs thick with sonic tributes and remembrances. “Chito’s Song” is a contemplative, ethereal tribute to a beloved uncle. “Curandera” conjures the memory of the irrepressible healing power of medicine women. “Black Pearl” recalls his great grandfather, heir to a legacy of indigenous peoples enslaved as pearl divers in the Sea of Cortez. Leading a 7-piece ensemble composed of New York’s top percussionists and members of Daptone’s rhythm section, Cochemea has created his own world of emotional textures and rhythmic possibilities, a musical and spiritual synthesis made possible through his deep reverence of the horn and the music and traditions preceding him. Vol II: Baca Sewa - is an offering and continuation of Cochemea’s explorations, part of a musical process of reclamation and healing through connection, relations, memory and imagination.
Song of Happiness / Stranded in Space 45
Song of Happiness/Stranded in Space 45
Recorded entirely in his humble bedroom studio, Cochemea Gastelum masterfully blends the drum-machine laden soul-explorations of artists like Shuggie Otis and Sly Stone, with the avant-garde, electric sax permutations of Eddie Harris.