“Freedom’s Children: The Celebration” by Reginald Cyntje – a preview

USVI

“Freedom’s Children: The Celebration” by Reginald Cyntje is out. The CD, long-awaited as it is, was released on August 23, 2011. Ten tracks long, this Lenny Robinson production features Amin Gumbs on drums, Herman Burney on bass, Warren Wolf on vibraphone and marimba, Victor Provost on steel pan, Christie Dashiell on vocals, Tosin Aribisala on percussion and vocals, James Richardson on percussion and Reginald Cyntje on trombone.

The trombonist spent his formative years on St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands before moving to mainland USA where he is now based and from where he delivers his debut recording ‘Kickstarted‘ online with donations strictly from his endearing fans.  

Having previewed the tracks several times at Cyntje’s beckoning, my hunch is that “Freedom’s Children” may, to the uninitiated, sound too uncomplicated for the idiom under which it is captioned.  But that would be to miss the thematic point being made on the recording, which is to my way of thinking, an appeal to the souls of our beings, the spirits of our imaginations, more so than ‘merely’ shifting sonic hairs.

And that is why an advanced marketing plan is an imperative.  For to sell a wholesome appreciation for this document by the trombonist, the new leader must, of necessity have us capture and understand what it is that motivated and informed each piece.  Indeed, embedded subliminally betwixt the notes, passages and progressions is a philosophy of life that promotes “commUNITY” and social empowerment across gender and age, constantly driving home the tenets of hope, aspiration, cultural integrity to the impressionable minds – the young at heart.

Herein lies the challenge that Cyntje faces in putting the CD to hand and ear.  I am the first to plead guilty for not knowing what kind of Jazz audience is out there, dollar in hand, ready to pick up Caribbean Jazz fare.  By that, I could not say I am confident I know what percentage of the market is made up of mind-listeners as opposed to ear-and-foot listeners who simply want tuneful melodies to dance to.

The question is, how many of us listen to Jazz like we watch dance, seeking to find meaning from musical gestures and arrangements, choreography and tone…feel?  How many of us would set aside an hour of our lives to digest an album and open up long enough to be moved by it, or not.

Cyntje’s job is to find that slither of an audience wherever it might be. So it is no coincidence that Cyntje and the 21st Century Band, of which he is a member, have returned to their Virgin Islands base often to reach out to the youth with their music.

That is where I have pinpointed the good news, which convinces me that Cyntje gets it.  

Follow him @cyntjemusic and @vimovement in parallel, to internalise the message behind the music.

To bring home the point, Cyntje would say something like:

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. (Reverbnation)

Sit back, relax and feel the time change as we experience a new day together.  And if you know someone you think should hear this music, link them up.

As you await your copy of “Freedom’s Children: The Celebration” to arrive in your post office box or your computer, continue listening to the Reverbnation playlist.  Link to it via the cover art image below.  While listening, read the liner notes as you go to appreciate the rationale and inspiration behind the ten compositions.  After all, When you listen to music, don’t you want to know the back story or just imagine whatever comes to mind?

Thank u for supporting the release of my (our) debut album.  Music…Message…Movement.”

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. Stay tuned for the release of "Freedom's Children: The Celebration" featuring Amin Gumbs on drums, Herman Burney on bass, Warren Wolfe on vibraphone and marimba, Victor Provost on steel pan, Christie Dashiell on vocals, Tosin Aribisala on percussion and vocals, James Richardson on percussion and Reginald Cyntje on trombone. Produced by Lenny Robinson

Click to play…

Track listing:

  1. Children’s Parade
  2. Relaxing
  3. Sankofa
  4. Queen Mary
  5. Sweet and Sour
  6. Peace and Love
  7. Daybreak
  8. Freedom’s Children: The Celebration
  9. Strollin’
  10. Ancestors

(All songs composed by Reginald Cyntje except Queen Mary)

“Freedom’s Children: The Celebration” is available at Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Pick up a copy and tell a friend. Now, what do you think of the album and the concept behind the music?  Share your reviews, large or small, in Comments.  Cyntje would like to know how you feel.

About M. Minchie Israel

I have a modest artistic background in the arts, especially in the realms of poetry, theater and radio. I have done a bit of acting as well as writing and directing for the stage before dropping out upon leaving the Caribbean a few moons ago. I am hoarding volumes of crudely-bound poetry dating back to my teenage years. Publishing any of them is not on the cards...yet. I spent a total of seven years moonlighting as a general programming announcer and Jazz jockey, primarily on DBS Radio in the Commonwealth of Dominica back in the eighties and the very early nineties. I did a short stint on Kairi FM in Dominica in the late nineties while "in transit" between Canada, where I completed a five-year programme of study, to the British Virgin Islands where I currently reside. Jazz and Other Improvisations (coincidentally, J.O.I. are my daughter's initials; her name is Jazmin) have become the theme of my life outside of work. I study the history of Jazz with a passion, more so about Caribbean-Jazz and Jazz musicians of Caribbean descent. I spin nothing but Jazz in the CD player, really. Jazz is what excites the pants off me. However, I love listening to national radio stations from the Caribbean and the Americas if for no other reason but to keep a tab on popular musical trends happening in our region and the world over. After all, Jazz musicians are notorious for incorporating pop music sensibilities into Classic Jazz and Blues structures. The Woodshed is meant to attract Caribbean-Jazz artists, Jazz artists born of the West Indies, Jazz producers and programmers, Jazz writers and curators...and of course YOU the aficionado. If you fall into any one of these categories, you really need to reach out to us at The Woodshed to learn about our goals and objectives to build a loose network of Shedders dedicated to sharing every piece of Caribbean-Jazz news there is from around the Jazzosphere. Knock on Wood at the Primary Menu at the top of this blog for all of our Contact information. Please send us a note or an email to let us know that you wish to have a key to the Woodshed. Now...go forth and spread The Jazz. View all posts by M. Minchie Israel

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