David Chevan/Warren Byrd: Let Us Break Bread Together

When jazz comes with extra philosophical baggage-no matter how noble the sentiment-that added dimension should not detract from the intrinsic message of the music. Having said that, buyer beware: this album succeeds on a brotherhood level, but falls short on its musical raison d’etre.

Bassist David Chevan and pianist Warren Byrd are based in Connecticut and have been exploring “the Afro-Semitic experience” for the past four years. They’ve been giving concerts of Jewish and African-American sacred music-traditional tunes and gospel shouts-throughout the Northeast and this is their second album.

There are some beautiful lines, pleasantly played, moments of spirituality, but precious few of jazz. The bass is not recorded properly (the walking sounds like schlepping); the piano is out of tune, especially in the treble.

Obviously this works better in their interfaith workshops where the interactive spontaneity can bind the message to the music. Oh well. Shalom, y’all.