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Jazz Articles about Wadada Leo Smith

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Radio & Podcasts

Who's Your Wadaddy?

Read "Who's Your Wadaddy?" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


From time to time the bastards do a show devoted to one artist, and this time, happenstance leads us to feted and prolific “out" trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. His career stretches back to the seventies and he's worked with a murderer's row of avant-garde musicians, but we're focusing on more recent work with him as a leader. Strap yourselves in for a challenging ride but don't worry—pop matters brings things firmly back to earth with looks at Van Halen's last ...

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Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: String Quartets Nos. 1-12

Read "String Quartets Nos. 1-12" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Wadada Leo Smith's seven CD boxset String Quartets Nos. 1-12 summons two words, epic and ineffable. The 5½ hours of music chronicle three of his four periods writing for string quartets from 1965 until 2019. The remaining work, “String Quartets Nos. 13, 14, and 15" inspired by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution, although written, have yet to be recorded. Smith's vision is skillfully executed by the RedKoral Quartet—Shalini Vijayan (violin), Mona Tian (violin), Andrew McIntosh ...

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In Pictures

Vision Festival 2022

Read "Vision Festival 2022" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti


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Multiple Reviews

Wadada Leo Smith: Inspiration Incarnate

Read "Wadada Leo Smith: Inspiration Incarnate" reviewed by Doug Collette


Wadada Leo Smith's The String Quartets Nos. 1-12 and The Emerald Duets are right in line with his well-established, iconoclastic means of creativity. Material composed and arranged with consummate care and attention to detail is also fodder for improvisation replete with a dignified abandon. And much like the trumpeter/composer/bandleader himself, Tum Records bestows a supreme reverence upon his efforts: as with the instrumental conversations and dialogues comprising the music within clam-shell boxes, the graphic design itself (right down to customized ...

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Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: The Emerald Duets

Read "The Emerald Duets" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The pioneering British photographer/author Val Wilmer said of Wadada Leo Smith, “he no longer relates to the restrictions of scales and chords. To him, music is about two things only: sound and rhythm." Her assessment, from the essential book As Serious As Your Life (Allison & Busby Ltd, 1977), was published in 1977. But in the survey of creative music history, her title could have been a sole perspective on Smith. After being a regular contributor to John ...

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Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: The Emerald Duets

Read "The Emerald Duets" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Wadada Leo Smith's music is often celestial, but the man himself is of this Earth—of America, in particular, the progeny of people brought to the Western Hemisphere involuntarily. People who have historically been treated as less than human, for the “sin" of having dark skin. This goes on. The true sin, the flames of racism, are stoked by a former and possibly future (God help us all) president—a cruel, sociopathic, immoral, dishonest racist. Wadada Leo Smith is America. ...

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Radio & Podcasts

New Wadada Leo Smith And More

Read "New Wadada Leo Smith And More" reviewed by Bob Osborne


On this week's show two massive new releases from Wadada Leo Smith, a seven CD box set of String Quartets, and a five CD box set of duets with drummers. In addition, a variety of new releases and dip into the archive for some early music from William Parker.Playlist Show Intro 00:00 Juanma Trujillo “Araya" from Collage (ears&eyes) 00:50 Peter Kogan “Pow, Pow, Pow—Yeah!" from Just Before Midnight (Koganote) 05:45 Todd Herbert “This Ones For Albert" from May ...


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