Internationally acclaimed jazz ensemble Ajoyo have shared their new album, War Chant.
The New York-based group’s new LP follows their eponymous 2015 debut. The ensemble is led by saxophonist Yacine Boularès, who founded Ajoyo with vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles some time after Boularès’ arrival in New York in 2009.
“Exposing people to our worlds and our own immigration stories develops empathy, regardless of their political views,” Boularès explained of their new LP in a statement. Undoubtedly, the diverse array of heritages within Ajoyo—ranging from Charles’ American-Haitian roots to Boularès’ French-Tunisian identity—helps inform both their political outlooks and their rich sonic palette.
A partial taste of War Chant arrived in October last year in the form of the War Chant EP. It included the track “Same,” which aims “to understand the psychological process that leads to xenophobia,” according to Boularès.
A number of guests help craft the world of War Chant, including vibraphonist Joel Ross (“Syzygy”), trumpeter Takuya Kuroda (“Assyko”), Lake Street Dive’s Akie Bermiss (“Jojo’s Groove”) and Vuyo Sotashe (“Better Love”).
Listen to Ajoyo’s new album here: