Leyla McCalla A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey on 180g LP + Download
Leyla McCalla's new album A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey, (Jazz Village/Harmonia Mundi) takes its title by a book of the same name that the singer/cellist read while pregnant with her first daughter. Taking its title in turn from a Haitian proverb, the book analyzes the intersection of politics, power and music in Haiti. McCalla, a former member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops who now calls New Orleans home, was struck by how political crisis can create a scene for music to be born. Through deeply felt originals and interpretations of traditional songs from Creole, Cajun, Haitian, American folk and jazz canons, the album depicts a diverse American experience and Leyla's struggles with and acceptance of her own identity.
A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey includes guests Rhiannon Giddens (a bandmate in the Carolina Chocolate Drops), guitarist Marc Ribot, fiddler Louis Michot of Lost Bayou Ramblers and more. The work of Ella Jenkins, Manno Charlemagne, Abner Jay, creole fiddlers Canray Fontenot and Bebe Carriere have all been interpreted here by Leyla and her band, whose members include her husband, Daniel Tremblay, and Free Feral. They are joined by Jason Jurzak on bass and sousaphone. The album was recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA.
In a rave review of Leyla's 2013 solo debut, the New York Times said: "Her voice is disarmingly natural, and her settings are elegantly succinct...her magnificently transparent music holds tidings of family, memory, solitude and the inexorability of time: weighty thoughts handled with the lightest touch imaginable." Adds Pitchfork, "Her playing suggests a perpetual spring...her voice is a velvety purr that's both wise and bright."