Cochemea - All My Relations

By John-Paul Shiver

As a Daptone Records veteran saxophonist, Cochemea and his polyrhythmic sensibilities have supported many projects emanating from the influential Brooklyn label. That affiliation and grand command of soul, funk, and Afro-Latin jazz eventually landed him a full-time residency in Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings’ band in 2009.

On his solo record, All My Relations, Cochemea delivers a heady and meditative ten song offering that’s equally influenced by his Yaqui and Mescalero Apache Indian ancestry and the improvisatory writing from 10 musicians engaging in percussive conversation. Yet the emphasis, unlike many jazz-funk instrumental recordings, is to give the origin, root colors before and after bringing the listener to the dance. So from jump, Maso Ye’eme, casts a mystical introduction type spell before leaping into the very ceremonial single All My Relations, which features label owner Gabe Roth, playing a cumbia type bass line on the Moroccan Gimbre, while the drum sounds of a pow wow charge the air.

Sure the funk horn lines on Mitote, or the minimal touches in the two-minute jam Mescalero, detailed with percussive fills scattered about, will make people feel like a party is about to jump off. Better still, make crate diggers wonder if these joints have been sampled yet. Even the haunting Song of Happiness, that sees Cochemea channeling the beautiful spirit of Eddie Harris, talks of a funky good time in the past tense.

But it’s personal modal choices-the heavy rooted blues of Al-Mu’tasim or the gathering of the spirits with hand claps, chants and bass clarinets on Asatoma that gives this record distinction.

Once again, Daptone proves that quality over trend is a faultless strategy.

Listen to All My Relations via spotify