medjuck

Wadada Leo Smith

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Just got an e-mail from the Ojai Music Festival (where I'm spending the day Sunday):

 

Update from Tom Morris: Wadada Leo Smith

I am so happy to tell you that Wadada Leo Smith is fine!
 
As you may know he fainted on stage at last night's concert at the end of the incredible evening. He was suffering from dehydration after a busy day, plus long travel Wednesday from the east coast. EMS determined the cause of the problem backstage and Wadada quickly revived. They took him to the hospital as a precaution where he was checked out thoroughly and released around 1:30 pm. I was with him at the hospital, and took him back to his hotel, where he will rest today before returning home tomorrow.
 
Wadada, who defines generosity, said late last night with his customary twinkle, that he was sorry he could not play his encore for everyone!
 
I know you join me in the good news that he is doing fine. 

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Thanks for the news. I had read of his problems on FB and heard no more.

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Drink that water!

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I'm glad that he is doing okay.  I saw him perform with Vijay Iyer last year and it was a spellbinding set.

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I was looking for a comprehensive thread regarding Wadada Leo Smith. Although his recordings are referenced in a number of threads I couldn't find a recommendations thread as such. Anyway I was looking at his output as listed on discogs , he has apparently released 38 recordings listed under his name since 2000 with 16 since the start of 2014. I thought I had a lot of his material but realise I haven't even heard half. 

Do you have any particular recommendations of his recordings since 2000, and if so why? I feel in mood for more Wadada ,  I have the new solo Monk album on Tum in mind but I'd be interested in others thoughts.

 

my own favourites in this period would probably America's National Parks and Nessuno , both very different releases from 2016. The Italian release is just a stunning piece of improv where as the TUM release is work of great beauty which ought to be more accessible to the  open minded.

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MI0003784619.jpg?partner=allrovi.com

 

 easily recommended.( haven't heard nessuno nor the monk.) why? threadgill lindberg dejohnette

Edited by uli

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Tabligh is a favorite 71s92XCQHhL._SX522_.jpg

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He's a big favourite and I honestly  seem to like all his output which doesn't make me a very objective judge I'm afraid. He really has been on such a good run that I just buy them regardless now and I've not ever been disappointed.The Monk is a wonderful tribute. TUM have really done him proud (and such beautifully produced packages)

The  albums on TUM are all highly recommendable - the duets with Lindberg and then Moholo-Moholo particularly. I like to hear WLS's playing uncluttered so probably prefer his duets (and solo) albums. The duet with Blackwell, "The Blue Mountain Sun's drummer" is also very good indeed. For something a little different there's another TUM under Mbira's name which has Min Xiao-Fen playing Pipa which brings a whole new dimension to things. 

Nearer to home, there's some interesting line-ups on the Treader label although I'm not sure how readily available they are. Highlight of those for me is "Bishopsgate Concert" with John Tilbury which seemed an unlikely pairing but was a concert, and a CD, that was riveting.The ECM with Iyer revealed its delights slowly to me but delights there are.

Then there's the critically lauded Ten Freedom Summers to get your teeth into across four CDs of writing for strings

and today, this review alerted me to one I'd not realised had been released but which I shall be buying

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2018/04/tania-chen-henry-kaiser-wadada-leo.html

 

Edited by mjazzg

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1 hour ago, mjazzg said:

 

He's a big favourite and I honestly  seem to like all his output which doesn't make me a very objective judge I'm afraid. He really has been on such a good run that I just buy them regardless now and I've not ever been disappointed.The Monk is a wonderful tribute.

Nearer to home, there's some interesting line-ups on the Treader label although I'm not sure how readily available they are.

 

thanks for that Mark , i've not encountered the Treader label.....

Ten Summers , i have but the earlier TUMs I don't. Food for thought.

Tabligh, Najwa, The Great Lakes Suite I know and love. 

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On 14/04/2018 at 10:00 PM, Clunky said:

thanks for that Mark , i've not encountered the Treader label.....

Ten Summers , i have but the earlier TUMs I don't. Food for thought.

Tabligh, Najwa, The Great Lakes Suite I know and love. 

Treader is, I'm pretty sure, run by Jon Coxon (once of Spring Heel Jack). He plays with WLS on a number of the albums (and in concert) both with Spring Heel Jack (see "The Sweetness Of Water" on Thirsty Ear - highly recommended) and in duo or with other musicians

This morning, prompted by your question, I listened to an album that I'd not thought of when I initially answered - "America's National Parks". It really is a very impressive work. Again WLS is the only horn but the rest of the band are all longtime partners, except the cellist who really adds to the sound. To my ears a more successful recording than the "Great Lakes Suite" with Threadgill et al and I'm a huge Threadgill fan.

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Whilst raking through my collection I came across a bundle of Wadada related discs I’d partially forgotten about.  

I’d entirely forgotten I had ‘Occupy the world ‘ and next to it was Lindberg’s ‘A tree frog tonality’ , which I’d forgotten features Wadada ( along side Cyrille & Ochs).  

So now playing ATFT followed by OTW to get reacquainted!!

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The joys of the large collection (or too big as less enlightened folk would have it), the discovery of a lost gem!

I have ATFT too, so thanks for the reminder on that. A trip to the shelves to find it reveals that here's another very good Lindberg on Black Saint called "The Catbird Sings" with the same band. I seem to recall I purchased these as they very well thought of by Messrs Cook and Morton.

I never fully embraced "Occupy The World". I will revisit though as part of an ever-lengthening list of WLS recordings to catch up with (I need to retire...)

 

Edited by mjazzg

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Listening now to ‘Occupy The World’ I note that Lindbergh is on this one and a featured soloist amongst the Scandinavian band. The accordion reminds me of Vesala’s “Ode to the death of Jazz”. I’m listening with headphones on so as not to disturb Mrs Clunky but in reality they allow you to really hear what’s going on . It’s pretty extraordinary really.

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These are interesting comments!  I too find it hard to rank or compare Wadada's recordings.  They are all captivating.

 

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55 minutes ago, jlhoots said:

I'm hopeful - BUT "vocals" in this context always make me "nervous".

The stepson of a Mississippi bluesman didn't convince you?

.71TMjL5CnEL._SX522_.jpg

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I actually met his stepdad once, when playing with a "hotel show band" that got a booking in Greenville. That's a little story unto itself, playing in Greenville.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

I actually met his stepdad once, when playing with a "hotel show band" that got a booking in Greenville. That's a little story unto itself, playing in Greenville.

I heard Little Bill Wallace perform in a steamy theater (in August) in Clarksdale, MS around 1995. He was very good.

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FYI, Wadada just received the American Academy of Religion's award for religion and the arts this past weekend. Was a real privilege for those of us involved in getting him the award.

 

He's really stoked about this recording and there is a ton of amazing stuff he's got on deck, including a 3cd solo release recorded in a 16th century Finnish church.

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It was great. He actually gave us the incredible gift of a world premiere solo piece. This is the acoustically uninspiring environment of a conference. But the greatest thing was that the session next door to ours opened our door to complain ("We can hear that") and W didn't even flinch from his playing. AWESOME.

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