372

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet: Tabligh

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet: Tabligh For Tabligh, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has reassembled a Golden Quartet to blow, very Miles Davis-like, on a follow-up recording to Year of the Elephant (Pi Recordings, 2002). But the lineup, excepting the leader, has changed.

The sound is, in part, an exploration of Miles' electric period, from 1969-75, albeit in a sparer mode—a rhythm section and the trumpet rather than the guitar-driven, multi-layered assaults of some of Davis's more adventurous days. The music is dark, turbulent, murky, intense—often with an In a Silent Way sparkle, via Vijay Iyer's Fender Rhodes work.

Iyer is an interesting choice to take the place of Anthony Davis, who played piano and synthesizer on Year of the Elephant. On his own discs, under his own name and with his trio, Fieldwork, Iyer plays with a sizzling intensity and implacable forward momentum. His teaming with Smith takes his playing to more spacious territory and removes some of the urgency from his sound, leaving the urgency to Smith's trumpet playing and Shannon Jackson's drums. Iyer, when he's on the Fender Rhodes—he also plays piano and synthesizer here—supplies bursts of metallic colors and sparkling washes of electricity, making noises like the Northern Lights might sound.

Shannon Jackson (who takes an approach closer to the former Miles Davis drummer, Tony Williams, of the Second Great Davis Quintet of the mid-late sixties) replaces Jack DeJohnette, the drummer on Year of the Elephant, and the man who supplies the bustle and bump on the unfailing fine CDs of Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio. He simmers, then explodes and keeps things on a keen edge when Smith isn't holding down that job.

The tunes are extended avant-garde workouts—"Rosa Parks" clocking in at sixteen minutes plus; "Tabligh" running over twenty-four minutes—that roll from fiery abstractions to inward, edgy ruminations without losing their focus or accessibility. This is a fine step forward for Wadada Leo Smith's second great Golden Quartet.


Track Listing: Rosa Parks; DeJohnette; Caravan of Winter; Tabligh.

Personnel: Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet; Vijay Iyer: piano, Fender Rhodes, sythesizer; John Lindberg: bass; Shannon Jackson: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Invention of Knowledge" CD/LP/Track Review Invention of Knowledge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Four Plus Three" CD/LP/Track Review Four Plus Three
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!