Plea for Peace
The Afro-Semitic Experience
The Afro-Semitic Experience has already received universal critical praise for its wide ranging explorations and interpretations of the diasporic music that comes out of the Jewish-American and African-American traditions. On this, their debut album, they perform a program of twelve pieces that encompass a wide range of sounds and styles--original compositions along with their distinctive arrangements of synagogue songs, gospel songs, hymns, West African, Cuban and Puerto Rican drum beats, jazz songs and cantorial music. This is a band that is proud of its religious and political message. Plea for Peace is a politically charged and spiritually centered cry for peace, world wide spiritual unity and communication. The title track, Plea for Peace, was composed by band co-founder Warren Byrd and is an expression of his sincere desire for the world to find a way to work things out. In fact, the composition is more of a prayer than a plea. Other pieces on the album include an arrangement by Will Bartlett of Almighty God, a composition from Duke Ellington’s Second Sacred Concert, and a group arrangement--Descarga Ocho Kandelikas, an Afro-Cuban jam on the classic Hannukah song. The group merges West African drumming and gospel on their interpretation of Dottie People’s On Time God and they add just a touch of Puerto Rican Bomba to David Chevan’s arrangement of A Song for When the Temple is Rebuilt–an updated version of Yisroel Schorr’s cantorial composition, Sheh Yiboneh Beis Hamikdash.