Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: The Roots of Cochemea

The Dap-Kings saxophonist shares inspirations behind his latest record.

Diving into Cochemea’s Vol II: Baca Sewa, with its layers of texture, brings you to another world. After touring with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Cochemea Gastelum assembled some of New York’s top percussionists for his solo and semi-autobiographical record All My Relations. Vol II: Baca Sewa continues that journey with the album’s namesake, Baca Sewa, being Cochemea’s original family name prior to Spanish colonization. Cochemea compiled this Talkhouse playlist full of inspirations from the new record. Check it out.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations

Los Camperos de Valles — “El Fandanguito”
This track is a killer. I love the Huapongo rhythm, which is a 3 against 4 figure from Veracruz, Mexico. A big inspiration for my song “Mimbreños.”

Ray Barretto — “Abidján”
I love the sparseness of this tune. Everything in its right place. Amazing breaks, playing, and a badass bass line.

Eddie Harris — “Sham Time”
Eddie Harris is one of my greatest heroes of the saxophone. A virtuoso and creative genius, his use of effects is really the blueprint for me. This tune is a great example of his blending of percussion and his signature electric sax tone.

Art Blakey & The Afro-Drum Ensemble — “Love, The Mystery of”
I really dig this whole record. It features compositions and playing by West African and American musicians including Yusef Lateef, another one of my heroes. I was thinking a lot about this sound when we recorded “Tukaria.”

Gary Bartz NTU Troop — “I’ve Known Rivers”
One of my favorite solos ever, on any instrument. The lyricism and melodic phrasing of Gary Bartz continue to inspire me.

Gato Barbieri — “El Arriero”
I am a huge fan of Gato Barbieri’s “Latino America” records. The combination of Latin American percussion with his ecstatic saxophone is sublime. This song is taken from a live record El Pampero which also features Bernard Purdie and Lonnie Liston Smith.

Sonny Sharrock — “Once Upon A Time”
I really love how this melody repeats over and over, while Sonny Sharrock and Elvin Jones respectively, wail love the top.

Pharaoh Sanders — “Love Will Find a Way”
There is such tenderness about this song, but also a sense of longing and melancholy, for me. Definitely thought about this vibe while writing “Chito’s Song.”

Don Cherry — “Utopia and Visions”
I’m a huge fan of Don Cherry’s artistry and playing. I really appreciate the different sonic textures on this song which include voice, flute, and percussion.

Jim Pepper — “Comin and Goin” (Live)
The first time I heard Jim Pepper, the late Cree and Kaw Tenor sax player, I was completely knocked out. His music combines elements of Native American Church Peyote Chants, forty-niner songs, Gospel and Blues. He was also very well versed in the Jazz idiom. This song to me has a wonderful sense of humor about it, but there’s also an undeniable, deep beauty in his melodies, lyrics, vocals, and sax playing. “Baca Sewa (Song)” and “Song of Happiness” (from All My Relations) are directly inspired by his music.