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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs" reviewed by John Sharpe

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's prolonged late career flowering shows no sign of abating with the creation of yet another epic work, following on the heels of his monumental Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform, 2012), Great Lakes Suite (TUM, 2014) and America's National Parks (Cuneiform, 2016). For his inspiration he takes the story of Rosa Parks, one of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs" reviewed by Doug Hall

Acclaimed trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Wadada Leo Smith has released an oratorio of seven songs inspired by the iconic civil rights leader Rosa Parks. In his own words, Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs is “concerned with ideas of freedom, liberty and justice, a meditation centered around the civil rights movement." Looking ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Iro Haarla: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Longstanding piano-bass tandem Iro Haarla and Ulf Krokfors team up with drummer Barry Altschul for Around Again, a reverent and eminently rewarding tribute to Carla Bley. All three musicians possess a deep familiarity with Bley's work. Haarla's dates from her earliest conservatory studies at Finland's Sibelius Academy in the 1970s, while Altschul played on Paul Bley's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

At one time the Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla was best known as a collaborator of drummer Edward Vesala (1945-1999). Her own career blossomed in the new millennium, beginning with Penguin Beguine (TUM Records, 2005) followed by multiple releases on ECM and TUM Records, including Northbound (ECM, 2006), Vespers (ECM, 2011), Kirkastus (TUM, 2014), a daring duo ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love

Read "Rosa Parks: Pure Love" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Like several exceptional modern era composers from Ornette Coleman to John Zorn to Tyshawn Sorey, the “jazz" appellation has only anecdotal application to the latter-day calling of Wadada Leo Smith as a composer. On his previous Cuneiform releases Ten Freedom Summers (2012) and America's National Parks (2016), Smith worked with an ear toward confronting injustice and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Read "Najwa" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith is one of the few musicians remaining from the original, founding generation of Chicago's legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. But he has hardly rested since; Smith's Ten Freedom Summers (2012, Cuneiform) was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music; in 2017, Smith swept the Downbeat Critics' ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Read "Najwa" reviewed by Maurizio Comandini

Il trombettista Wadada Leo Smith chiama a raccolta i suoi fedelissimi per una nuova scorribanda nei territori dell'emozione, con la sua tromba spiritata che guida il cammino con saggezza e ferma determinazione, tracciando le linee guida attraverso le quali poi tutti i musicisti saranno chiamati a dare il proprio ampio contributo nella tessitura narrativa dei cinque ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk

Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

Omaggiare la figura e la musica di Thelonious Monk è sempre una sfida ardua da superare per qualsiasi musicista. Se poi la si affronta in solitaria e nemmeno al pianoforte bensì alla tromba, ardua lo diventa ancora di più. Ma è lo stesso Wadada Leo Smith che ci rassicura. “La maggior parte delle persone -afferma nelle ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa

Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa" reviewed by Doug Collette

Wadada Leo Smith's most recently recorded albums reaffirm this trumpeter/composer/bandleader's deep, abiding loyalty to his muse. Equally so on stage or in the studio, Smith's devotion to the creative impulse is absolutely unwavering, and, as a result, his works are pure, direct expressions of his concepts, undiluted by compromise. Such is the uniformity of his execution ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa

Read "Najwa" reviewed by John Sharpe

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is no stranger to plugged-in performance. Like Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis, his musical systems prove just as applicable to electronic as to all-acoustic environments. Indeed one of Smith's earliest such immersions was Yo Miles! inspired by Miles' 1970s guitar shredding bands. Multiple electric strings have also formed an integral part of ...