Yamim Noraim

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The Days of Awe: Meditations for Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur by David Chevan with Frank London and the Afro-Semitic Experience

David Chevan is a rare individual in the music world. An active bassistand composer, he is involved in some of the most dynamic and musically exciting jazz projects in Southern Connecticut. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Chevan also holds a Ph.D. in jazz history and is a full-time professor of music at Southern Connecticut State University.

His researchon early jazz has radically altered the views of many colleagues–his discovery that certain copyright deposits by Louis Armstrong contained hitherto unheard music as well as a fully notated solo that had always been assumed to be an improvisation briefly created a controversy (for those interested in learning more about this see Chapter 6 of  David’s dissertation, “Written Music in Early Jazz”).

Chevan’s current research projects include a comprehensive study and index of Jazz Fake Books and a study of the walking and solo styles of bassist Milt Hinton. Chevan’s life as simultaneous academic, performer, and composer allows him to incorporate elementsof each of these worlds into the others.

The Afro-Semitic Experience is Chevan’s current band project. In someways the development of this band grows out of David’s continuing duo workwith Warren Byrd. What distinguishes this band from the duo is not just thesize of the ensemble, but the repertoire around which the group is built. Where David and Warren are performing a repertoire that comes directly fromthe sacred tradition this group plays a much more secular set list. Themusic of this band includes traditional klezmer melodies, bebop, gospel, cantorial songs and African rhythms and melodic lines. The group, according toChevan, is still in its formative stages but is beginning to gel. If everything falls into place the group should be releasing its first CD sometimein 2002.

In 1997, Chevan began giving concerts of sacred music with his friend, pianist Warren Byrd.

These concerts, entitled, Avadim Hayinu-Once WeWere Slaves, focus on the Jewish and African-American sacred

The Afro-Semitic Experience at the Bowery Poets Cafe, 10/3/04, Photo credit: Chaim Strauchler

traditions, andhave been well received by audiences and critics alike. In June 2001 theywere featured artists at the Washington, D.C. Festival of Jewish Music. Their performance was filmed by PBS and concert highlights along with an interview were aired on the PBS show, “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.” Warrenand David have traveled around the Northeast and recently went to Birmingham, Alabama where they gave a concert workshop on their music. They havegiven their concerts in every imaginable venue, churches, synagogues, concert halls, grade schools, high schools and colleges. Their mission is toperform this musical program wherever it is needed and is relevant. To date they have released two CDs (source).

Album: The Days of Awe: Meditations for Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur by David Chevan with Frank London and the Afro-Semitic Experience

Price: $9.99
Genres: World, Music, Jazz
Released: September 02, 2003
℗ 2003 Reckless DC Music

To buy CD/listen to samples click here (iTunes)

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