Cochemea: All My Relations review – Blissful set from globetrotting virtuoso

Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 05:00

   
Cochemea brings everything together with his smooth play.  

Album:
All My Relations

Artist:
Cochemea

Label:
Daptone

Genre:
Jazz

He spent 15 years as a member of The Dap-Kings, helping the indomitable Sharon Jones forge some of the planet’s more scintillating throwback soul music before her death in 2016.

Now, Cochemea Gastelum journeys back to Daptone Records to link up with old friends and add new rhythms to the group’s legacy. All My Relations is a collection of soothing spiritual jazz that asserts the saxophonist as a intrepid musical globalist.

A Californian with Yaqui and Mescalero Apache ancestry, Cochemea works indigenous sounds into his organic compositions. The stomping drums and impassioned vocal chants of the title track are influenced by Native American powwows. Al-Mu’tasim evokes the spirit of Moroccan Gnawa music, while Mitote, which features musician Sunny Jain on a double-headed drum called the dhol, is inspired by the ancient Aztec dance.

If these influences seem daunting and unfamiliar, don’t worry. Cochemea brings everything together with his smooth play. Seyewailo opens with a charming sax section that sounds lifted from a 1980s sitcom before evolving into a modern latin jazz number. Closer Song of Happiness is equally peppy, rounding off a blissful set from the globetrotting virtuoso.