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Smith, Wadada Leo / Ten Freedom Summers
Album:Ten Freedom Summers Collection:Jazz
Artist:Smith, Wadada Leo Added:08/2012
Label:Cuneiform Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2012-08-12 Pull Date:2012-10-14 Charts:Jazz
Week Ending:14 Oct7 Oct30 Sep2 Sep26 Aug19 Aug
Airplays:111212

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Album Review
Fo
Reviewed 2012-08-11 
WADADA LEO SMITH: Ten Freedom Summers
Cuneiform, 2012

AVANT-GARDE – Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith presents his magnum opus, a deep, huge, powerful collection of 19 pieces composed over a 34-year span. The work commemorates the heroes and milestones of the black civil rights movement, from the age of slavery to the present. Smith’s Golden Quartet and Quintet are joined by/alternate with Southwest Chamber Music, a nine-member modern classical ensemble. Smith’s horn is either hot and slicing or calm and chilly against heavy two-drummer surges or tense group improvisation, and the chamber sections can be somber, aching or spiky. You can go to any point in these four CDs and find something of value. Just listen.

Fo’s Picks: I – 1,2 II – 1,2,3 III – 2,4,5 IV – 1,2,4

DISC ONE

1. 11:49 – quintet: trumpet cuts thru turbulent chaos, very strong piano as well
2. 5:15 – quiet quintet: serene trumpet, lots of space, bowed bass solo
3. 18:03 – a mix of mournful and defiant, slowly paced with aching strings
4. 15:06 – a slow & bluesy march; trumpet soars, quintet falls to near-silence
5. 22:08 – chamber ensemble: juxtaposes rhythmic drama & pained harmony

DISC TWO

1. 12:44 – quartet: spiritual intro, then struggle and firm resolve, serene end
2. 16:36 – chamber ensemble: moving string layers, thrusts, dissonant slides
3. 12:35 – quintet: very open feel, picks up walking rhythm, fine piano & drums
4. 24:13 – chamber ensemble: rises from below, a series of striking tableaux

DISC THREE

1. 16:41 – quartet: rising optimism, chaos, emptiness; solos for everybody
2. 10:07 – chamber ensemble: alternately tender and knotty/convoluted
3. 12:18 – stark quartet: acid trumpet, lots of silent moments
4. 15:04 – quartet: strong bass, open improv sprawl, quiet, huge drum solo
5. 13:50 – full group goes all over: stark layers, dark shades, clashing rhythms

DISC FOUR

1. 14:11 – quartet: forceful w/heavy drums, tender middle section, back to start
2. 9:39 – slow and solemn with forceful trumpet, switches to a spiritual feel
3. 8:36 – quintet: trumpet thrusts boldly forward over amorphous backing
4. 14:31 – quintet: solid improv feel, a sarcastic sneer, strong performances
5. 20:35 – full group: a sprawling, imposing modernistic suite unto itself; heavy

[ Fo ] - 11 August 2012

Track Listing
1.Dred Scott: 1857 10.The Freedom Riders Ride
2.Malik Al Shabazz And The People Of The Shahada 11.Medgar Evers: A Love-Voice Of A Thousand Years' Journey For Liberty And Justice
3.Emmett Till: Defiant, Fearless 12.The D.C. Wall: A War Memorial For All Times
4.Thurgood Marshall And Brown Vs. Board Of Education: A Dream Of Equal Education, 13.Buzzsaw: The Myth Of A Free Press
5.John F. Kennedy's New Frontier And The Space Age, 1960 14.The Little Rock Nine: A Force For Desegregation In Education, 1957
6.Rosa Parks And The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days 15.America, Parts 1, 2 & 3
7.Black Church 16.September 11th, 2001: A Memorial
8.Freedom Summer: Voter Registration, Acts Of Compassion And Empowerment, 1964 17.Fannie Lou Hamer And The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964
9.Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 18.Democracy
 19.Martin Luther King, Jr.: Memphis, The Prophecy