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.
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