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Jazztopad 2014, Three World Premieres

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Jazztopad jny:Wroclaw, Poland November 13-15, 2014 Jazztopad enters its second decade with confident stride. The festival has come a long way in the first ten years, evolving, experimenting and growing as any good festival should. In 2014, Jazztopad stands as an internationally renowned festival with a clearly defined ethos, one that combines a strong respect for the traditions and roots of the music with a progressive vision that provides a platform for the contemporary and innovative. The name Jazztopad translates as 'Jazz in November." It's maybe not the most inspired name but for the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites

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Trumpet and composer Wadada Leo Smith remains in one of the most fertile phases of his long and storied career. His prodigious output now enjoys the outlets it needs, courtesy of the Finnish TUM imprint and the US-based Cuneiform Records. And other recordings appear on a variety of independent labels. At least in part that is likely due to the prestige of the Pulitzer Prize recognition for his momentous Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform, 2012) extravaganza. For this latest extended work inspired by the Great Lakes of North America, Smith enlists the help of fellow AACM alumnus Henry Threadgill, an acclaimed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites

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Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is on something of a recording roll lately, with The Great Lakes Suites coming hot on the heels of 2013's Occupy The World, and 2012's Ten Freedom Summers on the TUM and Cuneiform labels, respectively. To these ears, The Great Lakes Suites is the prize among prizes. Drum icon Jack Dejohnette is back with Smith, and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill joins long-time bass associate John Lindberg for a thrilling program of extended compositions featuring each player in generous detail. Right off the bat, “Lake Michigan" finds DeJohnette stirring an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: Great Lakes Suites

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Two of the most enduring voices avant-garde jazz belong to trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and reedman Henry Threadgill. Smith's The Great Lakes Suites, six of his distinctive compositions on a two CD set, teams the two icons inside the equilateral quartet that includes drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist John Lindberg. It sounds like a dream team, and it is. DeJohnette has played on Smith's Golden Quartet, Lindberg has joined the trumpeter in a variety of contexts, groups large and small. Threadgill is new to the fold. All the groups members--with the exception of Smith--were born and grew up ...

INTERVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: I'm A Dreamer

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As dreamers go trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith lies at the more serious end of the spectrum. Not for him dreams that fade with the daylight, as evidenced by the realization of his epic Civil Rights inspired Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform, 2012). Smith actually composed the first piece of what developed into a 21 piece magnum opus back in 1977, which demonstrates prodigious staying power to see it through to completion in 2012. Once released, the work generated remarkable acclaim for its tremendous scope, consistency of achievement and weighty emotional impact. Widely nominated in best of year lists, it is likely ...

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Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers at London Jazz Festival 2013

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Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers: London, England, November 21-23, 2013 Wadada Leo Smith Café Oto London November 21-23, 2013 As part of the London Jazz Festival, over three consecutive evenings, Dalston's Cafe Oto presented the European premiere of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers magnum opus. Although such a groundbreaking production might be more expected in one of the large auditoriums on the capital's South Bank, the goodwill built up over series of residencies and dates in town over the last four years resulted in the concerts taking place in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angelica Sanchez/ Wadada Leo Smith: Twine Forest

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Legendary trumpeter, educator Wadada Leo Smith is a very active neo- jazz iconoclast with appearances as a guest artist and co-leader or when producing critically acclaimed albums such as his resplendent civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers (2012, Cuneiform Records). Partnering with nascent jazz pianist Angelica Sanchez--a member of Smith's Golden Quartet and Organic bands-- signals an intriguing proposition. With the trumpeter's bronze-toned proclamations and paramount sense of authority, Sanchez is at times nestled in a supporting role as she effectively comps, shadows and shades his strapping choruses while also supplying the rhythmic impetus. Linked with an ...



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