My Latest ASE joy: a Funk of Burnin' Love*

Original title: Jazz Souls on Fire, Short Blog by Warren Byrd--an ASE co-founder

*ASE=The Afro-Semitic Experience--

The purpose of doing any project is nothing to do with such lofty anthropological goals as they make us want to write for the major grant proposals. It's more a matter of the non-verbal compulsion to create. Yet, as many of know there's no escaping the tyranny of linear thought and process orientation. In fact, I've learned to respect it for what it is: a way to receive and transmit. We've made a market of framing our music with well-placed words to transmit well to our audience a suggestion of how to receive us. It would be far-fetched to believe that this would become ineffective, obsolete.


But Jazz Souls on Fire, in my life-frame, is an effort to bring the Afro-Semitic Experience back to some of what drive most of us in this ensemble. It brings us back to a ineluctable authenticity because we have to face the vital origin of each of our artistic selves. It brings us back to the groove and passion of blowing, dancing, and soaring freely in sound and spirit--which for me--is our jazz roots.


We spend some time "trying to be all cute" on this record too. I always thought of it as being inventive until I met fellow artists and artist lovers who insist that there is such as too much inventiveness, coined by phrases like "trying to be all cute", "artsy-fartsy", "bombastic", or "too many notes". Sometimes you just gotta be who you are at any moment no matter what anybody says--Jazz Souls On Fire gets the Afro-Semitic Experience back to lots of that too.


Then, of course, we get to pay tribute(did I hear someone chortle?). Face it, Music Diggers: everything under the sun comes from somewhere and while the origin of all things may be vibration, the vibes put down by our musical forefathers avail much in making our music easy to cull, inspiring us to create deeply from within ourselves, and be in touch with what keeps us all common, our humanness. In addition, we could never sneeze at the struggles Black musicians did bear, in spite of the fecundity of spirit and inventiveness shared in the art of song, dance and musicianship. The Afro-Semitic Experience gets to pay tribute to this in a real way in Jazz Souls on Fire.


Finally, Jazz Souls on Fire is our way of setting you on fire by sparking what's real inside of you, the listener, deep in your heart and guts--implanting the flame of the ages which consumes all the matter and distills the essence: the effluvium of truth…and beauty--by laying down the sounds and rhythms of our funky, soul-based exemplars.

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