WAR CHANT - EP

by Ajoyo

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about

Hailed for the vibrant eclecticism and socially conscious engagement of its eponymous 2015 debut, the spellbinding jazz- world ensemble AJOYO returns with War Chant. The four-track EP offers an enticing preview of the group’s full length sophomore release WAR CHANT, due out in early 2020.

Alongside saxophonist/bandleader Yacine Boularès, War Chant features a deeply attuned working lineup with vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, keyboardist/producer Jesse Fischer, bassist Kyle Miles, guitarist Michael Valeanu and drummer Philippe Lemm. Trumpeter Takuya Kuroda appears on “Assyko,” and Keita Ogawa and Foluso Mimy guest on percussion as well.

Celebrity Café has praised AJOYO’s melding of “old-world Cameroonian beats with traditional jazz themes,” while All About Jazz has described how “the music exudes sophistication yet responds to a primordial pulse.” Those energies, and a continuous creative evolution, are evident again on War Chant, which opens with the cathartic title track aimed squarely at Trump’s misrule.

“Assyko,” according to Boularès, is named for a Cameroonian rhythm and intended to evoke “pure joy and celebration of Roy Hargrove. The bridge and the effect on Takuya’s trumpet are a reference to Roy’s tune ‘Strasbourg/St. Denis.’”

“Somber Joy,” based on a Moroccan Chaabi rhythm, is “a reflection on mental illness, love and addiction.” And “Same” is an attempt “to understand the psychological process that leads to xenophobia.” The band’s deep and unrelenting groove, virtuosic improvising and effortless command of compositional detail makes War Chant a thrill from start to finish.

Boularès and Charles began working together in 2009 soon after Boularès arrived in New York, though the founding of AJOYO came later. “We happen to have very similar immigration stories,” says the saxophonist. “Sarah is American and Haitian, and it’s through music that she has maintained a relationship with Haiti. I’m French Tunisian, and although I grew up between Tunis and Paris, it’s through music that I’ve put back together the pieces of my fragmented identity. I also have strong ties with the Haitian community as the saxophonist in Tabou Combo for the past six years. I’m also founding the first contemporary Arabic culture festival at Joe’s Pub in New York, fall 2020. It’s become a necessity for me to fight back through art and culture, with the underlying idea that ignorance leads to hatred. Exposing people to our worlds and our stories develops empathy, regardless of their political views.”

credits

released October 25, 2019

Sarah Elizabeth Charles: vocals
Yacine Boularès: saxophones
Michael Valeanu: guitar
Jesse Fischer: keyboards
Kyle Miles: bass
Philippe Lemm: drums

Takuya Kuroda: trumpet (3)
Foluso Mimy: djembe (1)
Keita Ogawa: percussion (2,3,4)
Jonathan Levy: bass (1)

Produced, engineered and mixed by Jesse Fischer
at Electrik Indigo Studio, Brooklyn NY
Assistant Engineers: Charlie Culbert & Greg Teves
Mastered by Nate Wood

www.ajoyomusic.com
www.shems-records.com

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about

Ajoyo New York, New York

Hailed for the vibrant eclecticism and socially conscious engagement of its
eponymous 2015 debut, the spellbinding jazz- world ensemble AJOYO returns
with War Chant. The four-track EP offers an enticing preview of the group’s full length
sophomore release WAR CHANT, due out in early 2020.
... more

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Track Name: AJOYO - WAR CHANT
Hey you,
Trying to hide from my view
Just stop right there,
Sit on down and give a listen
Imma testify

I said, "Hey you!"
It's time to pay what's due
Your viscous ways
Are a trend of toxic waste
You post and people die

You talk tough
Typing so fast, misspelling words,
You got nothin to say.

You spew hate
Raping our souls with vile lines
Spitting back in your face.

Make it great again
America was never great
To those of us who were never free.

Can't you see
Self pride is suicide
They're getting stronger every day now
With you as king.

How can we sit by
not realize
the damage of your words
on future realities
_____
Hey You,
believing whats not true
there was a time when the lies you spread
would justify a genocide

I said hey you
look what they’re trying to do
These evil ways
a third reich of modern times
We cannot just stand by

K - K - K
preaching the same supremacy
on this side of the sea

Primate ways
Thinking it’s right to forge head
with this patriarchy

Make it great America
Was never great
To those of us who were never free.

Can’t you see the lack of unity
The fractures, prejudice
contained in society

We cannot sit by not realize
the damage of your words on future
realities


Sing loud
Declare war
On your words of hatred
We’ve been blind
Justice for all the time we wasted
We’re living through changing times
A new dream I’ve tasted
We hold the light See us shine
on the world that’s waiting

Sit on down and give a listen Imma testify! (ad lib)
Track Name: SOMBER JOY
She deepens the time
Stretches infinity
Filling my soul
Way beyond its ability


She sets me free
To fall in the limbos of my mind
Lost there if I can’t find
The missing piece of my heart

She captures my will
Binds it with ecstasy
Together we drown
In the abyss of lethargy

She sets me free
To fall in the limbos of my mind
Lost there if I can’t find
The missing piece of my heart

and she chains me into a bliss
I won’t resist
Holding me down
In somber joy

And distress
Will I remiss
Holding me down
The emptiness remains

She wasn’t a choice
She’s always been in my head
Saving myself
From the grip of her bitter voice

She sets me free
To fall in the limbos of my mind
Lost there if I can’t find
The missing piece of my heart

And she chains me into a bliss
I won’t resist
Holding me down
In somber joy

And distress
Will I remiss
Holding me down
The emptiness remains

And she chains me into a bliss
I won’t resist
Holding me down
In somber joy

In somber joy
The emptiness remains
Track Name: SAME
Your skin, so smooth
It shines through the night
It scares me too
I cannot see the light
My heart it beats so fast
As your coming close
Can't find the words
Your presence yields such fear from my dark past

Your skin, so black
So different than me
Can't look away
You're what I long to see
And yet, you're not at all
Look on with contempt
A colored mind
Assuming the worst rejecting your human rights

Need to look deep down inside
Be free to
Recognize what lives in our minds
We all have a bias inside
It can change
If we're willing to look truly see we're the same

My skin, my mood
It shines with your light
The fear is gone
Drifting off out of sight
Together now
No need to turn away
We face our fear

Need to look deep down inside
Be free to
Recognize what lives in our minds
We all have a bias inside
It can change
If we're willing to look truly see we're the same

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