Based on the US Civil Rights Movement, trumpeter Leo Smith has developed this suite over 30 years, performed here with his Golden Quintet of Anthony Davis, John Lindberg, Pheeroan AkLaaf, Susie Ibarra and a small chamber ensemble.
Smith, Wadada Leo
Ten Freedom Summers [4 CDs]
Released in: USA
"An orchestral collaboration with the acclaimed eight-piece ensemble Southwest Chamber Music (harp, clarinet, 2 violins, cello, flute, viola, bass, percussion) conducted by Grammy Award-winner Jeff von der Schmidt, Ten Freedom Summers is built upon Smith's celebrated Golden Quartet featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Susie Ibarra and/or drummer Pheeroan akLaaf (who often expands the ensemble to a quintet). As a child of the Deep South who was raised in the red-hot crucible of the civil rights movement, Smith traces the project's origins back to 1977, when he wrote "Medgar Evers," an expansive evocation of the NAACP activist gunned down in Mississippi 14 years earlier.
Working in fits and starts, Smith completed the 19-piece project 34 years later in October of 2011 with a portentous, elegiac piece for Southwest Chamber Music. In designing the huge, multi-movement work, he focused on the transformative decade framed by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"I was born in 1941 and grew up in segregated Mississippi and experienced the conditions which made it imperative for an activist movement for equality," says Smith says, who marked his 70th birthday with a presentation of this, perhaps his most ambitious undertaking. "I saw that stuff happening. Those are the moments that triggered this. It was in that same environment that I had my first dreams of becoming a composer and performer."
After decades of being revered by his peers and colleagues, Smith is attaining his rightful place at the forefront of American music. Ten Freedom Summers is an important work that combines unique, fully scored rigorous passages and great improvisational skills into one huge and cohesive work. It is a thrilling, emotionally charged and satisfying work from a master."-Cuneiform Records
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Catalog ID: Rune 350/351/352/353
Squidco Product Code: 16269
Format: 4 CDs
Packaging: 4 CD Box Set
Recorded at Zipper Hall, The Colburn School, Los Angeles, CA on November 4th-6th, 2011 by Matthew Snyder.
Southwest Chamber Music:
Jeff von der Schmidt-conductor
Wadada Leo Smith-composer, trumpet
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1. Dred Scott, 1857 11:49
2. Malik Al Shabazz And The People Of The Shahada 5:15
3. Emmett Till: Defiant, Fearless 18:03
4. Thurgood Marshall And Brown Vs. Board Of Education: A Dream Of Equal Education, 1954 15:06
5. John F. Kennedy's New Frontier And The Space Age, 1960 22:08
1. Rosa Parks And The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days 12:44
2. Black Church 16:36
3. Freedom Summer: Voter Registration, Acts Of Compassion And Empowerment, 1964 12:35
4. Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society And The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 24:13
1. The Freedom Riders Ride 16:41
2. Medgar Evers: A Love-Voice Of A Thousand Years' Journey For Liberty And Justice 10:07
3. The D.C. Wall: A War Memorial For All Times 12:18
4. Buzzsaw: The Myth Of A Free Press 15:04
5. The Little Rock Nine: A Force For Desegregation In Education, 1957 13:50
1. America, Pts. 1, 2 & 3 14:11
2. September 11th, 2001: A Memorial 9:39
3. Fannie Lou Hamer And The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964 8:36
4. Democracy 14:31
5. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Memphis, The Prophecy 20:35