Cochemea (cochemea Gastelum)

Cochemea, a California native of Yaqui and Mescalero Indian ancestry was raised in a musical environment but didn’t know much about his family’s history. His parents were musicians and gave him the name “they were all asleep asleep” because he was surrounded by music as a child. All My Relations, which is his final meditation on his ancestry, is an exploration and iteration on roots music. Cochemea and Daptone‚Äôs Gabe Roth gathered a diverse but close-knit group of musicians from New York to bring All My Relations to fruition. The album’s large part was made through collective writing and improvisation, with the 10 musicians creating a percussive, melodic conversation. It was a wonderful experience. People would play and then we’d make arrangements. The album opens with an invocation, and it plays like a story. Many songs are named after indigenous peoples. Each track is an exploration in roots – from the Sanskrit prayer upon which “Asatoma”, to the Mexican huapango rhythms of “Mescalero”, and “Song of Happiness,” which are partly derived from a Navajo melody, Shii’ Naasha. “In a sense this record is a prayer of unity, love, and the recognition of the fact that everything we do affects everything else,” Cochemea said. Cochemea’s strong polyrhythmic sensibilities and long history of uniting different genres has made it difficult to find the right lines these days. His roots in jazz, Latin and funk led to several tours with Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, which connected him with SJDK during their 2005 Naturally tour. Cochemea was also a tenor sax player with The Budos Band, Antibalas, as well as a baritone sax player on the Amy Winehouse sessions. He became a full-time Dap King in 2009. Cochemea also recorded a solo album of soul and funk and afro-Latin music, The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow. He also did session work with Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin, Mark Ronson and Rick Rubin. His performances include Archie Shepp and Beck as well as David Byrne, Public Enemy, The Roots, and David Byrne. Cochemea was also a soloist in the Broadway award-winning play Fela! which saw historic performances in Lagos. from

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