Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

368

Wadada Leo Smith: Wadada Leo Smith: Kabell Years 1971-1979

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Wadada Leo Smith
Kabell Years 1971-1979
Tzadik
2004

John Zorn's Tzadik label continues to honor the genius of Wadada Leo Smith, this time with a crucial collection of material he recorded and released himself on his Kabell label in the seventies. This four-CD box set gathers Creative Music 1, Reflectativity, Song of Humanity, and Ahkreanvention, plus over two hours of unreleased material.

Creative Music 1 features Smith solo. Like his brother AACM members in the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Smith fills the performance frame with remarkably imaginative improvisations on trumpet and moves easily to other sources of sound: various percussion instruments, bicycle horns, pans, flutes, and toys. Both "Nine (9) Stories on a Mountain" and "Improvisations No. 4" have extended percussion jaunts joining unique trumpet song. The title track moves back and forth between the two. "aFmie-Poem DancE 3" displays his artistry on flugelhorn, while on "Ogotommeli: Dogon Sage" he creates an Indonesian feel playing gamelan. 'Seeds' and 'Zekr' are gems of virtuosity, while the longer "Until the Fire" maps the breadth of Smith's vision.

Reflectativity pays an early visit to the Smith/Anthony Davis association that continues to grow. With Wes Brown on bass, "Reflectativity" represents a groundbreaking extended improvisation/composition piece. Re-recorded 25 years later for Tzadik with Malachi Favors replacing Brown, the original bristles with activity, from Davis' restless piano against the brisk bass to Smith's clattering percussion and incisive trumpet. The slyer "T Wmuki-D" shows Smith and company's ability to use silence as a fourth band member, a factor in much of Smith's work. As the piece develops, Brown flies over the fretboard to Smith's grounded flugelhorn. Davis leads the "North American Stomp," which settles into a trio improvisation with Smith flexing his embouchure. Composed or improvised, 'Visions' displays the beauty of three working as one, deep listening all the way.

Song of Humanity introduces a larger ensemble, including Pheeroan Ak Laff on drums and Oliver Lake on alto sax and flute. After Smith and Brown introduce the title track, Lake takes it apart. Smith returns, still muted, with Brown, then both lay out for a Davis interlude. "Lexicon" features Lake on soprano and more involved group playing. The band dazzles with complex interplay and imagination. Davis branches out to electric piano with "Peacocks, Gazelles, Dogwood Trees and Six Silver Coins," but doubles with Brown on acoustic. Lake and Smith play a short arranged segment before breaking loose, and then Davis moves to atmospheric organ. Lake puts in hard time on alto for "Of Blues and Dreams," and Davis devises some dense counterpoint. Davis gives the unreleased "Play Ebony Play Ivory" an elegant sendoff. The circular half hour's performance ends with three flutes in a conference of the birds.

Finally, Ahkreanvention returns full circle to present Smith solo again, moving from horn to percussive effects. The previously unreleased "Ankrasmation" features twenty minutes of Smith blowing a ribbon of melody that crackles, roams, and reflects. A brief workout on cymbals defines "Atoke," while "The Zebra Goes Wild" has Smith firing up the flugelhorn, with brief digressions on harmonica and gongs.

This generous set includes a 28-page booklet with session photos and tributes from Zorn, Davis, Henry Kaiser, and George Lewis, among others. A fitting tribute to a living master, and a fascinating look at beautitul work created over thirty years ago in near obscurity, much of it available for the first time.


Track Listing:
CD1: Nine (9) Stones on a Mountain; Improvisation No. 4; Creative Music ' 1; aFmie ' Poem DancE 3; Ogotommeli: Dogon Sage; Ep ' 1; Ngoma: Gravity and Lightwaves; Seeds; Zekr; Until the Fire.
CD2: Reflectativity; t wmukl ' D; North American Stomp; Visions; Transcendental Suite.
CD3: Song of Humanity; Lexicon; Peacocks, Gazelles, Dogwood Trees & Six Silver Coins; Of Blues and Dreams; Pneuma; Tempio; Play Ebony Play Ivory.
CD4: Life Sequence 1; Love is a Rare Beauty: Movements 1'5; Aura; Ankrasmation; Atoke; Fana; The Zebra Goes Wild.

Personnel: Wadada Leo Smith, flugelhorn, trumpet, little instruments; Anthony Davis, piano; Oliver Lake, alto, soprano sax, flute; Wesley Brown, bass; Pheeroan AkLaff, drums and percussion.


Title: Wadada Leo Smith: Kabell Years 1971-1979 | Year Released: 2004


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band" Extended Analysis Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's" Extended Analysis The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)" Extended Analysis Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
by John Kelman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon" Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial" Extended Analysis Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 29, 2017

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!