Yizkor: Music of Memory
Yizkor: Music of Memory is one of those rare recordings that creates an entirely new aural experience. Forget what you know about jazz, religious and world music, and prepare to be entranced in a somber, swaying, and melodious musical experience. Chevan and his friends have created a profound melding of Spiritual Jazz and Jewish cantorial music. David Chevan and the Afro Semitic Experience team up with world famous Cantor Alberto Mizrahi to create a lush musical environment that envelops the listener. Mizrahi's voice is embraced by the textures of a jazz rhythm section augmented by percussion, reeds, and resonator guitar. Chevan is able to combine the spiritual intensity of John Coltrane and Pharoah Saunders with the rich melismatic sounds of the Jewish cantorial tradition. The album is an original setting of the Jewish memorial service. Chevan takes prayers that have been recited for hundreds of years and sets them in a musical backdrop that includes original melodies and world beat rhythms. The music retains an ancient feel while sounding contemporary. The melodies composed by Chevan are based on a style of singing called Hazzanut, a cantorial music that has been almost forgotten by modern day cantors. The Hazzanut adds an old world quality to the music, that comfortably blends with the somber drones and Latin influenced grooves. The CD booklet includes translations and transliterations of all the words sung by Mizrahi. It also contains a set of photos of the Congregation Adas Emuno cemetery by Maurice Robertson. Once an active synagogue in Hartford, Connecticut all that remains of this thriving community today are the head stones captured in Robertson's poignant photo essay.