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Smith, Wadada Leo / Organic / Heart's Reflections
Album:Heart's Reflections Collection:Jazz
Artist:Smith, Wadada Leo / Organic Added:08/2011
Label:Cuneiform Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2011-08-21 Pull Date:2011-10-23 Charts:Jazz
Week Ending:23 Oct16 Oct9 Oct2 Oct25 Sep18 Sep4 Sep28 Aug
Airplays:21211122

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Album Review
Fo
Reviewed 2011-08-21 
WADADA LEO SMITH’S ORGANIC: Heart’s Reflections
Cuneiform, 2011

AVANT-FUSION – Improvising trumpet hero Wadada Leo Smith leads a 14-piece electric group (including four(!) guitarists, two bassists, two laptop artists) into his sprawling universe of spaced-out free-funk jams. It’s a direct descendant of 1970s Miles Davis, but no retread: this stuff is vital and deep, deep, deep. And despite the group’s size, this never feels overblown – most tracks actually use much smaller subgroups with Smith as the only distinguishable horn.

The “Heart’s Reflections” suite has 11 diverse movements, dominating Disc 1 and spilling over onto Disc 2 as it roams from meditative silences to thumping blasts. Three lengthy musical portraits – of trumpeter Don Cherry, writer Toni Morrison and violinist Leroy Jenkins – act as bookends for the set.

Fo’s Picks: Disc 1 – 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 Disc 2 – 1, 2, 5

DISC ONE

1. 20:50 – heavy trudging groove sets up shredding trumpet solo, stinging guitars, scribbling keyboard; a brief fall into zero-g at the midpoint
2. 2:33 – sparse duet: exotic drum march and a trumpet declaration
3. 6:27 – very slow: solo keyboard, ethereal ensemble, inscrutable bass solo
4. 9:13 – hard groove, driving drums: trumpet points, but guitars diverge
5. 7:29 – continues from #4; ensemble improv rides a steady beat, gets wild
6. 6:11 – slow trumpet over a quietly bubbling backdrop that gradually rises up
7. 5:24 – rock beat: percolating groove with punchy trumpet/keyboard/guitar
8. 3:35 – very slow guitar, open soundscape of strange, quiet samples & tones
9. 2:32 – brisk mutant jazz: cool drums & twin electric basses with effects

DISC TWO

1. 5:35 – great tumbling drums, supported by a slow, minimalist melody
2. 6:13 – rolling trio: echoing trumpet stabs the air, bass & drums push
3. 5:02 – slow and abstract with flaring trumpet, breathing backdrop
4. 10:35 – slow abstraction: laptops & violin squeak madly, piano expands
5. 22:29 – spiky intro becomes a dense psychedelic free-for-all; cool strutting groove emerges with mad solos and screeching interplay, but this trades off every few minutes with slow, solemn trumpet reflections

[ Fo ] - August 2011

Track Listing
1.Don Cherry's Electric Sonic Garden 8.Heart's Reflections: Ritual Purity And Love, Part 1
2.Heart's Reflections: The Dhikr Of Radiant Hearts, Part 1 9.Heart's Reflections: Ritual Purity And Love, Part 2
3.Heart's Reflections: The Dhikr Of Radiant Hearts, Part 2 10.Heart's Reflections: Silsila
4.Heart's Reflections: The Majestic Way 11.Heart's Reflections: The Well - From Bitter To Fresh Sweet Water, Part 1
5.Heart's Reflections: The Shaykh, As Far As Humaythira 12.Heart's Reflections: The Well - From Bitter To Fresh Sweet Water, Part 2
6.Heart's Reflections: Spiritual Wayfarers 13.Toni Morrison: The Black Hole (Sagittarius A*), Conscience And Epic Memory
7.Heart's Reflections: Certainty 14.Leroy Jenkins's Air Steps