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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion


By Robert Seiden
Published March 3, 2006

This Is The Afro-Semitic Experience
Reckless DC Music

Not to be overblown about the potential of this album, but let’s face it, human nature contains unfathomable depths of cruelty and hatred. The latest ethnic, tribal, religious, political, etc., differences are found on the front page of the newspaper every day. Warren Byrd and David Chevan’s This Is The Afro-Semitic Experience is a soulful attempt to bridge some cultural gaps, and highlights the fact that music can transcend our differences. The CD is a blending of traditional Jewish music with jazz from Abdullah Ibrahim and Charles Mingus, as well as original compositions. It is a truly independent album, an outgrowth of a musical community in Connecticut, recorded there, with no overdubs. The disc has elements of blues, African drumming, klezmer and some excellent lap steel guitar playing from Stacey Philips. At times it has heavy, atmospheric jazz passages, and at other times it feels like a Bar Mitzvah band, albeit one that is really enjoyable. For some intelligent, grassroots music that successfully integrates the music of two cultures, this disc deserves a listen.