The idea behind Peace With Every Step began to formulate in the mind of Ammoncontact’s Carlos Nino after he and singer Dwight Trible planned a peace-centered radio show in 2001, just after the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The album is filled with sentiments such as “love is our nationality,” conveyed via soulful jazz, poetry and percussion. It’s fit to be performed at a picnic, seated on the grass in a circle ’round an animated Allen Ginsberg.
Peace With Every Step was originally released in 2003 in Nino’s Los Angeles-based label, Todosonidos Presenta. Not surprisingly, it garnered some attention. Albums like these are essential in an otherwise tumultuous political climate, and they communicate sometimes charging, often distressed ideals of the ever-growing national peace movement. An intermittent cast of about twenty musicians plays instruments including flutes, Rhodes, violins and hand drums on the album, which juxtaposes the Greenwich Village folky stomp of the “Tortoise and the Hare” against the tranquil, organ-centered interludes of the title track and “Japan.”
Ultimately, Build An Ark’s music characterizes a dream world where more people would choose peace over war. Instead, fabrications are developed before committees are, the irresponsible are awarded medals, and the incompetent are promised job security. “You gotta have peace and love,” sings Trible (also of the Pharaoh Sanders Quintet) on “You’ve Gotta Have Freedom.” This, like most of the subtle suggestions on Peace, is not only worthy of exploration, but it also presents a road that seemingly doesn’t fit into the priorities of the current flag-waving battalion at the White House. Build An Ark gets it right.