Road That Heals the Splintered Soul
Building on the critical success of their last CD, Yizkor: Music of Memory, The Afro-Semitic Experience has released a CD filled with hard driving grooves and powerful music that explores the subject of the road and healing. They have distilled traditional tales of our journeys through pain, alienation, self-discovery, and acceptance into something entirely new. The journeys described both in word and sound in the The Road That Heals The Splintered Soul are sure to resonate in many ways the sum of this work is a vehicle for collective healing. Every member of the group has contributed at least one piece to this project and the result is a rich work with varied textures and grooves. The recording jumps off with Shout out from the Mountain, composed by Chevan, Byrd and drummer Alvin Carter, Jr. The piece is based on a field recording of an old African-American slave song, but the trio has turned this song into a serious, funky universal celebration of freedom. Every track on this CD percolates with this kind of multi-layered meaning. This is the first CD by the group to include vocals. Pianist and band co-founder Warren Byrd sings lead on the anthematic The Road That Heals The Splintered Souland Baba David Coleman shares a traditional Yoruba melody on Obatala. And the band gets an extra kick from special guest, Dutch trumpet sensation, Saskia Laroo, who contributes some fiery solos. There are no overdubs on this CD; even the singing was recorded live and the high energy of a live performance can be felt on every track. On A Torah Afloat in a Leaky Boat Lands in Congo Square, Chevan's song for New Orleans and the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Stacy Phillips manages to play two instruments--he begins the track on violin, puts it down to take a blistering resonator guitar solo, then picks up his violin to finish the song. Founded in 1998 by pianist Warren Byrd and bassist David Chevan, the Afro Semitic Experience has performed across the United States and Europe. The group has recorded six CDs. Their concerts are serious fun sometimes political, sometimes spiritual and always high energy. Audiences are invariably on their feet and dancing in the aisles before their shows are over. The Road That Heals the Splintered Soul was created with the support from Chamber Music America's New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.