Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wadada Leo Smith|
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Webern meets Miles, conducted by a griot Kandinsky
Phil Avetxori | 05/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wadada Leo Smith, one of the more imaginative contemporary jazz trumpeters, is also well versed in numerous international folk idioms, delta blues, and the European classical tradition. This may be a sign of my ignorance of the man's work, but he has always reminded me of Anthony Braxton and Simon Fell: an ambitious, idiosyncratic composer and improvisor, creating demanding modernist musical forms that, nonetheless, leave plenty of room for imaginative improvisation.
The music on "Reflectativity", more so than anything else I've heard from Smith, seems to bear this out. Joined by Anthony Davis on piano, and fellow AACM member Malachi Favors Magoustous on bass, Smith presents four compositons that, while unapolegetically abstract, always display his affinity for both black American music traditions, and the post-Webern modern classical establishment. At nearly twenty minutes, the opening title track is the album's centerpiece. Jazz convention and classical formality are stretched out over a sparse abstract canvas, with the players' questing lines zig-zagging through a hushed, contemplative space. The lack of a drummer (add Jack DeJonette to this line-up, and you have The Golden Quartet) allows for a rhythmic fluidity that's clearly both stipulated by the score and masterfully implemented by the players' instantaneous improvisatory decisions. The secon track, "Blue Flag" is, if anything, even sparser and more Feldmanesque, despite its brevity. "Fisherman T Wmukl-D" starts off in much of the same territory as the first two compositions, with flowing, beautiful piano lines meeting intriguing parries of extended trumpet technique. Then ,about halfway through the piece, the players rush off into a tight segment of rolling free jazz interplay. The final track, "Hanabishi" is the fastest and the "jazziest" of the bunch. It's distinct sections feature a variety of player combinations that further display the group's improvisatory chops, to thrilling effect.
I've owned this cd for a while, but had never listened to it much, until fairly recently. It demands attentive listening to appreciate the full scope of Smith's creativity. However, your attention will be rewarded with a beautiful adventure in form and feeling, where the Modernist push for new frontiers meets a century of jazz tradition."