201

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet: Tabligh

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet: Tabligh Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet is an evolving ensemble. The original line-up had Anthony Davis (piano), Jack DeJohnette (drums) and Malachi Favors Magoustos (bass). Then came Woody Aplanalp (guitar), Famoudou Don Moye (drums) and John Lindberg (drums). Smith had changed the line-up to give shape to his music. The current edition of the quartet retains Lindberg, but has Vijay Iyer (piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizer) and Shannon Jackson (drums). As with the earlier tandems, Tabligh's every member is a loquacious improviser.

Smith makes his trumpet a clarion call for change. His notes are pure even as he engages them in strong emotions. His power is palpable but not overwhelming. All of this makes the music potent. The other members, strong in their technique, and forward in their creative impulses, elevate the compositions.

Smith's writing lays the groundwork, but there is plenty of room to dive into a tangent and surprise. The changes of meter and time, the juxtaposition of calm and turbulence all lend themselves to making the music a driving force.

"Tabligh," captures all these characteristics. Smith mutes the trumpet, his playing falls like a gentle shadow at dusk. He skitters and scampers, slows down and draws back opening the door for Iyer, Lindberg and Jackson. The mood is quiet, ideas are formed at a deliberate pace, the air is chamber-like. And then comes the spark from Jackson and the portrait becomes vibrant and pulsates as the band slaps deeper colors into the mix. The atmosphere churns and throbs as the quartet finds a new groove. But at the end of it all, the band shows how they can play off each other and in consonance, giving the music a stirring presence.

"Caravan of Winter" has a dark beauty. Smith works over the theme, hewing close to the melody. Iyer's concepts are fertile and he filters them through single run notes that turn into a welter. With Lindberg and Jackson interpolating the rhythm, they become the perfect cohorts. The music is remarkably crafted and cements the credentials of the quartet as a divining force.


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

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

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


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Bring Their 'A' Game" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Their 'A' Game
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "On Ceremony" CD/LP/Track Review On Ceremony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Work Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Work Songs
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Migration" CD/LP/Track Review Migration
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 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!