Devin Brahja Waldman is a New York saxophonist, drummer, synthesizer player and composer who leads the group Brahja. Waldman has accompanied his aunt, poet Anne Waldman, since the age of ten. Waldman is a co-founding member of Radical Reversal, Diva of Deva Loka, and Notable Deaths. He has performed with Patti Smith, William Parker, Nadah El Shazly, Malcolm Mooney, Thurston Moore, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Charles Hayward, Luke Stewart and Yoshiko Chuma. Waldman is also a member of NYC’s Heroes Are Gang Leaders (led by poet Thomas Sayers Ellis and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis), of Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush, and of the Norwegian hardcore group MoE. As a youngster, Waldman was taken under the wing of avant-garde giant Paul Bley. Along with Anne Waldman and cousin Ambrose Bye, Waldman is a co-producer for Fast Speaking Music —a NYC poetry and music label which has released recordings with Amiri Baraka, Meredith Monk, William Parker, Laurie Anderson, Eileen Myles, CAConrad, Fred Moten, Daniel Carter, Clark Coolidge, Thurston Moore, Joanne Kyger and many others.
Ancient to the future 2.0
Watermelancholia is about the law of Karma:
a law so obvious that it often goes unspecified and ignored.
Neglecting this law invites a world of chaos.
It’s been articulated in endless ways.
Some have called it Cosmic Law or Natural Law.
Others translate it as Do No Harm.
The moment the first bass note of Luke Stewart kicks in on ‘Watermelancholia’, followed by the swelling drum roll of Malick Koly and the lush leading voice of Janice Lowe you feel Devin Brahja will take you on a deep mind blowing spiritual journey. Channeling wild seventies Impulse vibes on ‘O.P.K’ or, could we say, even resonating the guts of early Art Ensemble of Chicago and the tempering spirit of Max Roach’s ‘We Insist’ era: Brahja is soul searching their spirit on ‘Watermelancholia.'
A poetic stream of conciousness, backboned by topnotch musicians, transcending the cosmic universe, trying to find answers and musically connecting.
Watermelancholia is a meditation on healing the inner schism between the sense of self - the ego - and the innerbeing. It is about bringing the ego to justice; putting it on trial, as it were.
Devin B Waldman: compositions, mixing and production, alto saxophone, Jupiter-4 keyboard on songs 1, 2, and 4, piano on 3, drums on 4
James Brandon Lewis: tenor saxophone on songs 1, 2, 4 and 5
Janice Lowe: voice and flute on songs 1, 2 and 3
Watson: bass clarinet on all
Heru Shabaka-Ra: trumpet on songs 1, 2 and 4
Damon Hankoff: piano on songs 1, 2, 3 and 4
Alexis Marcelo: piano on song 5
Luke Stewart: acoustic bass on songs 1, 2, 3 and 5
Malick Koly: drums on songs 1, 2, 3 and 5
Recorded by Z in New York City
Mastered by Gert Van Hoof
Cut by Dubplates & Mastering Berlin
Artwork by Nissa Nishikawa
Graphic design by Jef Cuypers
Executive production by Philippe Cortens