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Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith Golden Quartet at La Sala Rossa

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Wadada Leo Smith Golden Quartet La Sala Rossa Suoni Per Il Popolo Montreal, Quebec June 2, 2016 The Suoni Per Il Popolo, the annual June festival organized by the people at La Sala Rossa and Casa del Popolo, opened its Sala Rossa portion of the program with a concert by trumpeter/composer/teacher Wadada Leo Smith and his Golden Quartet of Anthony Davis, John Lindberg, and Pheeroan akLaff playing music from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

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In the liner notes for A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke, pianist Vijay Iyer notes that he and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith would often become a sub-segment of the quartet in which the two played. Following their collaboration in New York City in 2015, ECM chief Manfred Eicher brought the two master artists together to make their unique chemistry a matter of record. At its core, the album is a suite dedicated to the late, influential Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

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The expansion of the mind, or better yet, consciousness, can come from multiple approaches. Prayer, physical activity, hallucinogenic substances, and mathematics are but a few routes. All seem to distillate to one essence, that is quiet, the emptiness of silence. For prayer or meditation, the quiet is obvious. But also, great scientists and athletes tell us in the vacuum of space, problems are solved, and the game winning jump-shot is made in an almost slow-motion stillness. That same ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather

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Two modern avant-garde icons and long-time collaborators with an age-old link to Anthony Braxton's Creative Orchestra, come together for three suites that capitalize on their ability to forge a soundscape that is fuller than the duo format would logically produce. Celestial Weather is an open discourse between two musicians who have mastered their respective instruments to the point of literally giving them an emotive voice of their own. Lindberg, in recent years, has been an integral part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather

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Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, one of the original AACM artists and a major avant-garde artist in his own right, is perhaps best known of late for his highly ambitious, monumental orchestral works--Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform Records, 2013) and Occupy the World (TUM Records, 2013). In 2014 he turned this approach down a bit--using using an all-star quintet--and released one of the finest recording of his career, the much heralded The Great Lakes Suite (TUM Records). He turns things down even ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: Red Hill

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A first time meeting in the studio pitches avant-garde trumpet master Wadada Leo Smith against a crew of improvisers who cover diverse bases. All three of Smith's collaborators work together in Slobber Pup, what you might term a thinking man's noise band, as well as overlapping in a range of other outfits including Metallic Taste of Blood and Spanish Donkey. Best known in jazz circles will be Joe Morris, here on double bass, and keyboardist Jamie Saft who features in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith/ Hardedge: The Nile

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Avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has crafted epic sets, like the four disc Ten Freedom Summers (Cunieform Records, 2012), inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. And then there are the near-epics: 2014's The Great Lakes Suite (TUM Records, 2014), a two disc celebration of North America's great waterway. And sometimes he offers up, in contrast, fairly modest records, like Organic Resonance, a live one disc duet set with reed man Anthony Braxton. And now we have a seemingly modest, but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites

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The intrepid composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's creative energy continues unabated after a career spanning over four decades. His artistry has crystalized and matured without losing its progressive edge and The Great Lakes Suites is the fruit of this sophisticated ingenuity. For these six imaginative pieces, inspired by the bodies of water of the title, Smith has brought together three of the most original improvisers in a perfect and sublime balance of bold spontaneity and intuitive discipline. ...


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