Reginald Cyntje | Freedom's Children: The Celebration (feat. Herman Burney, Victor Provost, Warren Wolf & Amin Gumbs)

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz World: Caribbean Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Freedom's Children: The Celebration (feat. Herman Burney, Victor Provost, Warren Wolf & Amin Gumbs)

by Reginald Cyntje

With cultural heritage at the forefront and social justice as the message, this album blends Jazz, Caribbean rhythms and Afrobeat to make a perfect setting for the listener to enjoy the audible testament of "Peace and Love."
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
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1. Children's Parade
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3:47 $0.99
2. Relaxing
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5:37 $0.99
3. Sankofa
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8:00 $0.99
4. Queen Mary
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5:00 $0.99
5. Sweet and Sour
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4:40 $0.99
6. Peace and Love
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7:16 $0.99
7. Daybreak
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4:52 $0.99
8. Freedom's Children: The Celebration
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1:46 $0.99
9. Strollin'
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7:05 $0.99
10. Ancestors
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3:17 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
There are special moments in life when the unexplainable happens. On May 26, 2011, we experienced this phenomenon. From the engineers and producer to the musicians, the entire cast used words like spirit, energy, vibe and special to describe the recording session. The spirit walked in the room and inspired the musicians with pure crystal light. The music that you hear takes you through the stages of life and provides audible testament for the journey of “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration.”

Picture yourself as a child sitting by the parade route on a beautiful Caribbean Island. You are excited to experience all the joys of a parade especially designed for you. Your friends from school are in various troops and you wait eagerly for the parade to start. After the officials complete their formalities, you begin to hear the music coming up the street. First you hear the drums, then the bass, then...more until you find yourself dancing in place with a friend or family member to the groove. Not knowing or caring about the words, you begin dancing wildly (as children do) to the sounds of the “Children’s Parade.” Soon after, the band pulls off and you are left overjoyed by the rhythm.

After the parade of innocence passes, the roller coaster of life begins. Close your eyes and imagine your sacred place. Do you remember when self-awareness took shape? The Caribbean has been the back drop for beautiful and painful stories. But to this day, even with the rise in violence and corruption, one can still enjoy the relaxed people, rich culture and the crystal clear blue waters, white sand beaches, huge clouds kissing the tip of the ocean, blue skies over head accented by a breeze just right for the spirit. In these moments, the gentle waves serve as a metronome for the song “Relaxing.”

Do you remember growing a little older and asking “Why?” At this stage in life we become inquisitive. “Sankofa” is an example of when we ask questions and go back to fetch the story of our ancestors from our elders. Can you hear the story in the music? The energy fused with polyrhythmic ideas from a rich past. Are you reclaiming what is rightfully yours?

As we travel back in time, imagine a group of women organizing a powerful labor movement for equal rights. Can you picture 1878 for a woman? Rape, racial caste system, social injustice… as the imagery comes to mind, you realize that we are still facing these issues in 2011. Women still have unequal pay. Women still experience mistreatment. “Queen Mary” represents the women who led an influential movement for equality and justice. This traditional Virgin Islands song is revisited to explore the nuances of then and now. Can you see the women getting together to organize and create change advocating and inspiring the strength of the womb?

With knowledge of where we come from the "Sweet and Sour" of life becomes aparent. As you listen, can you hear the ying and yang of human nature?
As the plot thickens, we grow and open our minds to a vast amount of cultures. We realize that we are connected by the tree of life. If you cut one branch, the other branches feel it. The roots are our ancestors. This is the point in life when we become aware of the injustices around the world. We see the pictures of various types of international genocide. You reach a level of consciousness where the atrocities forced upon women, ethnic groups and social classes becomes even clearer. We cry “Peace and Love,” but there can’t be peace without justice. Some of us become activists, others practice sedative agitation in isolation. Listen to the song and let the mantra conjure up images of social justice. Live love because love is the most powerful force on earth...

Break time…Amin, Herman, Victor and Warren exited the studio while Lenny stayed behind to ensure things were straight with Jimmy, Christie and Tosin. The musicians talked about how the session was going and took pictures while cracking jokes about life, love and each other. Our engineer, Cephas’, head was moving while we listened to “Peace and Love.” One would think that we would have lost the vibe while on break but spirit was everywhere. And spirit said…
We are all faced with choices when we reach a crossroads in life. Imagine feeling lost then receiving a glimmer of hope. After you take the steps needed, you finally reach your destination. “Daybreak” paints a picture of the sun slowly setting on confusion and rising with newfound self-awareness, self-respect and self-love. Sit back, relax and feel the time change as we experience a new day together.

On this day, we have arrived. Emancipation! “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration.” We played, reflected, loved and meditated. Now we realize that unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith will lead us to a better community.
With increased understanding comes greater clarity. As mature adults, we notice more corruption while “Strollin” down any Main Street. Can you hear the characters interplay? Listen, you will hear their deception. But, they don’t last long…

Why? Because we know what our “Ancestors” have done to ensure our freedom. We recognize that our purpose is to give unconditional love. We know that like our elders, we can mentor a child today and save a life tomorrow. We are all freedom’s children. Let us ensure a brighter tomorrow for future children before we transition to ancestry…

The plan was to record over two days but we did everything in one night. After we recorded the last tune, the energy lingered inside the room. I stayed behind in that moment and thanked spirit for speaking through us. I reflected on the rehearsals, the fundraising (online and offline), the musicians’ artistry, the planning, the community support, family, friends, elders and mentors. I thought about all the souls that made this project possible and with a prayer I said “I appreciate you. Thank you. I love you.”

Peace, Paz, Paix, Paco, Santi, Selam, Shalom, Salama, Udo, Amani…Many languages, one people, one love…

Reginald Cyntje
June 2011


Reviews


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Nigel A. Campbell

The Saints go Marching In!
Reginald describes his album "Freedom's Children" thus: "This CD will paint a colorful musical landscape that will take you from drinking your favorite wine at an elegant jazz club to enjoying a refreshing daiquiri on a beautiful Caribbean beach." This blurb coincides with the research of Pinckney, and foretells the mindset of this trombonist, and his marketing strategy. The metaphor of the Caribbean, "as a place to flee...seriousness" as so eloquently described by Derek Walcott is mirrored in Reginald's self-description of this CD. Elsewhere, Reginald elucidates on the CD's theme: "After the parade of innocence passes, the roller coaster of life begins." That juxtaposition of carefree whimsy with deep analysis and substance can be a theme of the overall effect of this CD on this listener. This CD has music for dancing, for celebrating, for remembering elegance and pride in our Caribbean glory.

Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles once told me, "Calypso is one of the ways we celebrate freedom, Jazz is another...and my one rule is that there are no rules...that's freedom." Freedom's Children is Caribbean Jazz! Reginald incorporates Virgin Island melodies, traditions and rhythms and weaves a musical statement closer to his expanded thesis than his marketing cliché. Rather than being a pastiche of anything-goes island vibes, the musicianship and sonic ideas by Reginald and his band of USVI expat musicians feed into a trend of re-charting the ruins of lost cultural memories. World fusion experiments have had a storied history in the jazz canon and industry, but listeners with ears turned toward the tropical latitudes would not be indifferent at the trombone's rise as a musical voice in the Caribbean, jazz precedence notwithstanding.

For more, click http://bit.ly/IjrIyw

Poorani

Uplifting
This album is amazing. It tells a great story of life and love and family. It's great music to listen to if you're dancing with your sweetie, or as background if you're alone feeling blue.

DaraMonifah Cooper

Kulcha Pride & Love Spoken in Universal Language(s)
The heartmusik expressed within this Freedom's Children album effortlessly and universally combines themes of Peace, Struggle, Strength, Pride, Heritage, Humility, Love and so much more... empowering the listeners to press pause/play on the purposeful programming of their emotions depending on the desired mood, as all complete music does. Even without words, the intentions of the musicians/magicians sharing this stage, the couches or classrooms of our own environments, teach, motivate and subconsciously inspire change within... for the better.

Freedom's Children... continue to Liberate us, with your Love.
Ase'

Kim Hairston-Cross

Sweet Melodies; Soul Soothing
"Freedom's Children" is the perfect album for any mother, wife, and/or lover of jazz. It soothes the soul with sweet melodies. All while striking remembrance and appreciation of our past and inspiring us to be better, more loving human beings for our future.

Charmaine Michelle

A carthatic release
Deep with in the soul of many artists lies the seeds of change and the ability to inspire humanity to transcend send beyond our weaknesses. Whether or not they give birth to what God has placed inside them & enter the pantheon of greatness is dependent on whether or not they are willing to submit to the arduous journey of gestation and spiritual growth. Lucky for the world Reginald Cyntje took that leap of faith and has birthed a soothing array of music that inspires the listener to create the type of beautiful harmony you hear in his music, in their own real-life community. If you have never experienced the kind of release and peace that comes from the struggle, you will after hearing "Freedom's Children". This is truly a great effort by the world class jazz community in the Washington DC area.

Genevieve Whitaker

Music to Soothe the Soul and Inspire a Movement of the Masses: Cultural Jazz Eni
The sounds contained in Reginald's Album "Freedom's Children" inspires thoughtful movement. As an activist, I continually am inspired by the work of great artists. Reginald is one such artist. He has taken jazz to another level. I describe this album as a cultural jazz enigma that has been unfolded, i.e., the mystery of Virgin Islands history. I describe our Virgin Islands history as a mystery because many are unaware of impact made by Virgin Islanders. Our ancestors fought and sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. Queen Mary and her fellow queens were women of strength and courage. Reginald through "Freedom's Children" honors the sacrifices of our foremothers and forefathers. Yes, Reginald, I too join in your philosophy: "[l]ive love because love is the most powerful force on earth." I LOVE this album!