David Rogers Sextet | The World Is Not Your Home

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Jazz: World Fusion Jazz: Free Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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The World Is Not Your Home

by David Rogers Sextet

Saxophonist David Rogers has been compared to John Coltrane for his globally-influenced brand of jazz (Global Rhythm Magazine)—heard from jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall. Latin rhythms, medieval chorales, and freewheeling improvisation.
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
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1. The World Is Not Your Home
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13:11 $1.49
2. Don't Drop That Coffin!
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4:59 $0.99
3. Oboo Ketua Nyom
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11:24 album only
4. Mobius Trip
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7:42 $0.99
5. The Merciful Ones
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7:29 $0.99
6. La Isla De Reyes
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11:40 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“[A] visionary jazz and world-music saxophonist/composer”
— Hartford Courant

“Rogers is an inventive and charismatic saxist, and as a bandleader he’s savvy enough
to make optimal use of what he’s got.”
— Global Rhythm Magazine

LINER NOTES (by David Rogers)
I wrote the music for this album with the thought of painting in mind. I wanted to create a series of pieces that would fit together in a broad sense, but with each having a distinct character. A an artist might choose different pigments for each picture in a series, I wrote each piece in adistinct palette of instrumental colors, with its own kind of rhythmic feel, and a different formal structure. In writing them I drew inspiration from a wide variety of musical sources from the voluminous American jazz tradition and from other musics around the world. It was a great joy to work with such a creative, broadminded, and flexible group of musicians who leapt right into each piece, bringing a wealth of ideas and musicality to every one.

OBOO KETUA NYOM (“Little Stone Song”) was originally a sax solo inspired by and based loosely on gyil (an African xylophone) music of the Dagara and Lobi peoples, and was written for and dedicated to Mark Stone’s then-unborn son Kwame. In this arrangement I added two gyile (taking full advantage of Mark and Gerald) and Gerald’s ever adaptable drumset. The form is a palindrome (ABCBA) with slow, fast, and medium tempo themes; the gyil solo in the fast theme is Mark’s. The end of the slow theme is an African-style melodic syllabization of the title where the sax plays/says like a talking drum: “Oboo ketua, oboo ketua, oboo ketua nyom, oboo ketua nyom.”

DON’T DROP THAT COFFIN! The title of the trio tune came from an image I had of a New Orleans funeral where the joyous march music gets so exciting and the crowd starts dancing so vigorously that someone has to shout out a warning to the pallbearers. “The engineer said it reminded him of circus music; listen for the “saber dance” theme he said he heard in the middle of my solo.

MOBIUS TRIP is based on a motif I found one summer in Oakland, California, for which I finally worked out counterpoint and a B theme more than a year later. Like moving along a mobius strip (a flat strip given a half-twist and looped, to form a three-dimensional shape with only one side), as the head [? not sure what “head” means here] goes along the key theme switches from melody to bass and back, with lurching rhythmic counterpoint in the opposing part.

THE MERCIFUL ONES is written as a four-part cantus firmus chorale with drumset and a sax solo laid over it. Cantus firmus is a medieval style of choral writing where the main theme is heard in the bottom voice, rather than the top. Here, the chorale builds on top of the slow bowed bass theme which repeats (with different rhythmic values) throughout the piece. Underneath this the drums play in a very fast feel, building with the ensemble and creating a rhythmic tension which the sax solo both expressed tries to reconcile.

LA ISLA DE REYES is a three-part fantasia on Afro-Cuban themes which draws on traditional Cuban rumbas and montunos and some of my own vaguely Cuban-inspired rhythms and melodies. Check out Craig’s nod to montuno pianists Eddie Palmieri, Frank Emilio and others in the final solo.

THE WORLD IS NOT YOUR HOME draws both on traditional music from West Africa and on strains of modern jazz that have been influenced by African traditions. The traditional drumming is Kondalia from the Takai dance of the Dagbamba people of northern Ghana. As we were recording this, the Dagbambas in Ghana were engaged in a brutal civil war with another ethnic group in the north; more than a hundred villages were being burned to the ground and thousands were killed in towns we had lived and studied in. We were saddened to think that they could not play this music for themselves now, and thousands of miles away, we had to play it for them. The clarinet’s melody at the beginning and end is from a Hausa folk song whose words mean:
“One by one we come into this world, one by one we leave it.
One by one we come into this world, one by one we leave it.
This world is not your home. It is just like a shaky hut.”

-David Rogers

THE BAND:
David Rogers—tenor saxophone, lunna (talking drum)
Craig Taborn—piano
Gerald Cleaver—drumset, percussion
Marion Hayden—acoustic bass
Mark Stone—vibraphone, conga, gungon, gyil (Dagara xylophone)
Derek Bermel—clarinet, gyil, lunna, clave

JUMBIE RECORDS and Jumbie Records Artist Management promote the recording and the performance of innovative new music rooted in world traditions. To see Jumbie artists live, bring them to your venue, or to find out about other projects and releases, please visit http://www.jumbierecords.com


Reviews


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John Book, Music For America

A musical statement, one of the best albums of the year
The CD cover looks simple enough: a musician holding a saxophone in front of the camera, showing confidence in his chosen instrument in a stance that represents himself and the music. By naming the album The World Is Not Your Home (Jumbie), and with the songs being published under Imaginary Homeland Music (ASCAP), The Davis Rogers Sextet are about making grand statements too.

Some have compared Rogers' work to that of John Coltrane, and I definitely hear an appreciation of his work, specifically the post-Atlantic/pre-A Love Supreme era where each musician gets their space and evens out the colors and tone. Rogers is someone who can play, and while it's easy to compare him to every other saxophonist, it's best to just hear him play. In the title track he comes in for a solo after the six minute mark, and it sounds as if he's scoping the area, making sure everything is clear, welcoming himself into the proceedings with audio handshakes as bassist Marion Hayden and drummer Gerald Cleaver answer him in kind. Two minutes into his solo, he lets loose and starts flirting a bit with the piano work of Craig Taborn, and it becomes an artful dance.

The artful dance is something that pops up frequently, sometimes at the most unexpected places, and it definitely pulls the listener in, wanting to stay there and hear what will come next. Rogers also enjoys incorporating sounds from around the world, so at any moment he may bring in the tribal sounds of Africa, or percussion sounds that can be heard in South America, or in "La Isla De Reyes" it's a lengthy vacation to Cuba with various solos coming in and out at a pace that may leave people breathless. This and two other tracks go over the 10 minute mark, so outside of making statements, they want to be able to test each other and themselves in their dedication of the song. Rogers is the kind of saxophonist that someone like the late Michael Brecker would be proud of, someone willing to test their limits by playing without them. This is not only a powerful jazz statement, but a musical statement, one of the best to come out this year.