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Musician

Wadada Leo Smith

Born:

ISHMAEL WADADA LEO SMITH trumpet-player, multi- instrumentalist, composer and improviser has been active in the creative contemporary world music for over thirty years. His theory of Jazz and World music was significant in his music development as an artist and educator. Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became immersed within the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his father, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). As an Improvisor-Composer, Smith has studied a variety of music cultures (African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American) and has developed a Jazz and world music theory, and a notation system to fully express this music which he calls "Ankhrasmation". He has taught at the University of New Haven 1975-'76, the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY

Album

The Emerald Duets

Label: TUM Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Disc 1: Litanies, Prayers and Meditations: The Prayer (For Keith Jarrett); First Meditation from the Heart; the Beauty and the Beloved; The Uyghur in Xinjiang, China; Rumi’s Masnavi: A Sonic Expression, Parts I - IV; A Sound Litany on Peace; The Patriot Act: Unconstitutional and a Force That Destroys Democracy; A Sonic Litany on Justice; Second Meditation from the Heart: the Beloved, The Beauty. Disc 2: Havana: The Patriot Act: Unconstitutional and a Force that Destroys Democracy; Havana, the Maghrib Prayer and Reflections;United States Representative Ilhan Omar; Jeanne Lee: In a Jupiter Mood; Donald Ayer: The Master of Sound and Energy Forms; A Rainbow Sonic Ark for Tomasz Ludwik Stanko (1942 - 2018); Haitian Independent Nation in 1804 But Not Recognized by Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Others: A Designed Tragedy; Mongeze Fezi. Disc 3: Mysterious Sonic Fields: Chrysanthemum F On a Moutaintop (for Katherein Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson; Largo: a Mysterious Love Sonic (forShana, Robson andSarah); Louis Armstrong in New York City and Accra, ghana; Ornette Coleman at the World’s Fair of Science and Art in Fort Worth, Texas; The Call—A Duet Between Joseph “King” Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton; Light Garden in a Dream Space, A Remembrance of Shaba of Ethiopia; Han Bennink on Fifth Avenue, NYC; Johnny Dyani: the Artist who Imagined a New South Africa—a Celebration. Disc 4: Freedom Summer: The Legacy:Sandalwood and Sage; Freedom Summer; Meditation: A Sonic Circle of Double Piano Resonance; The Patriot Act: Unconstitutional and a Force that Destroys Democracy; Silence, Quietness and Very Still. Disc 5: Paradise: The Gardens and Fountains: Part I: The River of Abundance; Part II: The Fountain of Tasnim; Part III: The Supreme Fountain; Part IV: Exaltation and Musk; Part V: Pomegranate and Herbal Teas.

Album

String Quartets Nos. 1-12

Label: TUM Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Disc 1: String Quartet No. 1 (1965-1982) Movements 1 - 4, String Quartet No. 2 (1969-1980) 16:52; Disc 2: String Quartet No. 3 "Black Church: A First World Gathering of the Spirit" (1995) Movements 1 & 2, String Quartet No. 4 (1987-2001) Movements 1 – 5; Disc 3: String Quartet No. 5 "In the Diaspora - Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions" (2005), String Quartet No. 6 "Taif: Prayer in the Garden of the Hijaz" (2007), String Quartet No. 7 "Ten Thousand Ceveus Peruvianus Amemevical" (2011); Disc 4: String Quartet No. 8 "Opuntia Humifusa" (2011), String Quartet No. 9 (2001-2015) Movements 1 & 2, String Quartet No. 10 "Angela Davis: Into the Morning Sunlight" (2007-2016); Disc 5: String Quartet No. 11 (1975-2019) Movements 1 – 5; Disc 6: String Quartet No. 11 (1975-2019) Movements 6 – 9; Disc 7: String Quartet No. 12 (2016-2018) Movements 1 & 2.

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Article: Album Review

The Young Immigrants: Head Borders

Read "Head Borders" reviewed by Vitalijus Gailius


The Young Immigrants is a sextet led by Lithuanian double bassist, composer and one of the most intriguing Lithuanian musicians, Aurelijus Užameckis. In 2021, he released jaw-dropping double bass solo debut album Signals (CRRNT). Apart from Užameckis, musicians from various corners of Europe play in the band. All of them are united by Copenhagen, the city ...

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Article: Album Review

Günter Baby Sommer & the Lucaciu 3: Karawane

Read "Karawane" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Long recognized as one of the most important exponents of European free jazz, drummer Günter Baby Sommer has refused to rest on his laurels, as he continues to do his part to maintain the legacy of free improvisation and creative jazz in a host of contexts, defying the aging process rather insouciantly while doing so. His ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: In Pictures

Vision Festival 2022

Read "Vision Festival 2022" reviewed by Luciano Rossetti


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Article: 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 ...

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Article: 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 ...

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Article: 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 ...


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