Outstanding compositions and performances on a 2 disc set from trumpeter Leo Smith, each piece dedicated to one of the US Great Lakes, with multi-wind player Henry Threadgill, bassist John Lindberg, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, a milestone in a superlative career!
Smith, Wadada Leo
The Great Lakes Suites [2 CDs]
Released in: Finland
"Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is on something of a recording roll lately, with The Great Lakes Suites coming hot on the heels of 2013's Occupy The World, and 2012's Ten Freedom Summers on the TUM and Cuneiform labels, respectively.
To these ears, The Great Lakes Suites is the prize among prizes. Drum icon Jack DeJohnette is back with Smith, and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill joins long-time bass associate John Lindberg for a thrilling program of extended compositions featuring each player in generous detail.
Right off the bat, "Lake Michigan" finds DeJohnette stirring an explosive pot-interacting in precise alchemy with Lindberg's roaring arco; throughout this album they are a potent team that transcend the standard concept of "rhythm section" exponentially. Smith and Threadgill wind a tight wrap around the serpentine melody, and Threadgill's sense of timbre, texture, and non-linear development demonstrate a singular voice.
Not since Miles Davis and Lester Bowie has a trumpeter done more with one note than Smith. A master of tone manipulation, Smith courses from bray to shriek to smear to keening clarion call with deep nuance, especially evident on the Braxton-esque "Lake Ontario," where the trumpet solo slides into a deep dialog between drums and bass before Threadgill, over minimal accompaniment commands the sonics with the elliptical phrasing of pure intention.
Lindberg's strummed double-stops lay a bed of sound that the horns punctuate with irregular long-tones over vituperative drums in "Lake Superior," a showcase for Smith's swarming, buzzing multiphonics. As Lindberg and DeJohnette lock hands for a dogged plow through rhythmic minefields, Threadgill darts and twists with deep surety.
Many years of playing together have solidified the chemistry of Smith and Lindberg, and their close communication on the intro to "Lake Huron" sets a dramatic stage for Threadgill's architecturally sound essay which survives the relentless onslaught of Dejohnette's traps fully intact.
Each musician gets long features alone, and in duo tandems, like the alto-flute and drum conversation that opens "Lake Erie," a beautifully episodic piece where themes unfold like an orchid's petals. The borders between written melodies, instrumental features and configurations, and improvised solos are so organically constructed as to blur the distinctions altogether.
This is perfectly balanced music with heavy input between four improvising and interpretive masters-no one dominates but each one consistently soars. If you're new to Smith's music, The Great Lakes Suites is a perfect place to start."-Robert Bush, All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Henry Threadgill
"Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, saxophonist and flautist, who came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating a range of non-jazz genres.
Threadgill studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, majoring in piano, flute, and composition. He studied piano with Gail Quillman and composition with Stella Roberts. He has been a bandleader and composer for over forty years. He was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition In for a Penny, In for a Pound, which premiered at Roulette Intermedium on December 4, 2014
Threadgill has performed and recorded with several ensembles: Air, Aggregation Orb, Make a Move, the seven-piece Henry Threadgill Sextett, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Very Very Circus, X-75, and Zooid."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Threadgill)
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• Show Bio for John Lindberg
"John Lindberg commenced his full-time professional career at age sixteen, allowing for total immersion into his work as a performer/composer, subsequently being mentored by the late great bassist David Izenzon.
The first public performances of his ensemble compositions began in 1975, and in 1980 he recorded his first album focused on his original music, a collection of works for solo double bass, Comin' & Goin'.
Over the last forty-one years he has traveled the globe performing thousands of concerts of creative music, in thirty-six countries on five continents. He has released myriad albums - over one hundred - that spotlight his original compositions for a variety of jazz ensembles, and feature his singularly identifiable bass playing.
His extended works for chamber ensembles combined with improvising artists have been widely commissioned, including works for The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York Chamber Ensemble, and Neues Kolner Streichquartett. His catalogue contains over one hundred and fifty published works.
He is renowned as an ensemble leader, a collaborator in special duet settings, a solo double bass performer, and as co-founder of the String Trio of New York with Billy Bang and James Emery. He has worked with a plethora of luminary creative artists, including: Albert Mangelsdorff, Ed Thigpen, Eric Watson, Louis Sclavis, Human Arts Ensemble, Frank Lowe, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra, Karl Berger, Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille, Dave Douglas, John Carter, Henry Threadgill, Jack DeJohnette, Regina Carter, Jimmy Lyons, Sunny Murray, Roswell Rudd, Mary Redhouse, Pablo Calogero, Joe LaBarbera, Wendell Harrison, and Kevin Norton.
His work as a producer of numerous recordings, and of powerful cross-genre projects - such as JazzHopRevolution and BLOB - is well established, as is his ongoing work as an educator with a distinctly unique message.
Awards and fellowships in support of his work include those from New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Chamber Music America, ASCAP, Arts International, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, and a Diploma de Honor from Gobernacion Cordillera, Chile.
Of late, John's disparate extra-musical activities - which include a stint as a community rescue squad ambulance driver, serving as general contractor for a cabin built with carpenter friends in South Dakota, and being engaged as an observational naturalist - have significantly informed his work as a composer and musician.
Released in September, 2016, on Clean Feed Records, are two new albums:John Lindberg BC3, Born in an Urban Ruin and John Lindberg Raptor Trio, Western Edges. Other recent recordings that feature his compositions include the duet with Wadada Leo Smith, Celestial Weather, the duet with cellist Anil Eraslan, Juggling Kukla (released as a limited edition of 300 vinyl LPs), and John Lindberg's TriPolar, [a]live at Roulette, NYC."-John Lindberg Website (http://www.johnlindberg.com/biography.php)
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Shipping Weight: 5.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: TUM 41
Squidco Product Code: 19589
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel with attached booklet
Recorded at Avatar Studios in New York City on December 20th, 2012 by Robert Musso.
Wadada Leo Smith-composer, trumpet
Henry Threadgill-alto saxophone, flute, bass flute
John Lindberg-double bass
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1. Lake Michigan 22:01
2. Lake Ontario 9:19
3. Lake Superior 10:40
1. Lake Huron 17:25
2. Lake Erie 17:38
3. Lake St. Clair 13:40