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!
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
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
sample the album:
"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
Get additional information at All About Jazz
• Show Bio for Wadada Leo Smith
"Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith: trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator.
Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American.
He has taught at the University of New Haven (1975-'76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975-'78), and Bard College (1987-'93). He is currently a faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is the director of the African-American Improvisational Music program, and is a member of ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Mr. Smith's awards and commissions include: MAP Fund Award for "Ten Freedom Summers" (2011), Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2010), NEA Recording Grant (2010), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009-2010), Other Minds residency and "Taif", a string quartet commission (2008), Fellow of the Jurassic Foundation (2008), FONT(Festival of New Trumpet) Award of Recognition (2008), Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award (2005), Islamic World Arts Initiative of Arts International (2004), Fellow of the Civitela Foundation (2003), Fellow at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2001), "Third Culture Copenhagen" in Denmark-presented a paper on Ankhrasmation (1996), Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program (1996), Asian Cultural Council Grantee to Japan (June-August 1993), Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program (1990), New York Foundation on the Arts Fellowship in Music (1990), Numerous Meet the Composer Grants (since 1977), and National Endowment for the Arts Music Grants (1972, 1974, 1981).
Mr. Smith's music philosophy Notes (8 Pieces) Source a New. World Music: Creative Music has been published by Kiom Press (1973), translated and published in Japan by Zen-On Music Company Ltd. (1976). In 1981 Notes was translated into Italian and published by Nistri-Litschi Editori.
He was invited to a conference of artists, scientists and philosophers "Third Culture Copenhagen" in Denmark 1996, and presented a paper on his Ankhrasmation music theory and notational system for creative musicians. His interview was recorded for Denmark T.V., broadcasted September 1996.
Some of the artists Mr. Smith has performed with are : Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Richard Teitelbaum, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrill, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Carla Bley, David Murray, Don Cherry, Jeanne Lee, Milton Campbell, Henry Brant, Richard Davis, Tadao Sawai, Ed Blackwell, Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Kowald, Kazuko Shiraishi, Han Bennink, Misja Mengelberg, Marion Brown, Kazutoki Umezu, Kosei Yamamoto, Charlie Haden, Kang Tae Hwan, Kim Dae Hwan, Tom Buckner, Malachi Favors Magoustous and Jack Dejohnette among many others.
Mr. Smith currently has three ensembles: Golden Quartet, Silver Orchestra, and Organic. His compositions have also been performed by other contemporary music ensembles: AACM-Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Player, New Century Players, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Contemporary Chamber Players (University of Chicago), S.E.M. Ensemble, Southwest Chamber Music, Del Sol String Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble, ne(x)tworks, and California E.A.R. Unit.
Mr. Smith's music for multi-ensembles has been performed since 1969. "Tabligh" for double-ensemble was performed by Golden Quartet and Classical Persian ensemble at Merkin Concert Hall (2006) and by Golden Quartet and Suleyman Erguner's Classical Turkish ensemble at Akbank Music Festival in Istanbul (2007). His largest work "Odwira" for 12 multi-ensembles (52 instrumentalists) was performed at California Institute of the Arts (March 1995). His Noh piece "Heart Reflections" was performed in Merkin Concert Hall, NY (November 1996)."-Wadada Leo Smith Website (http://www.wadadaleosmith.com/pages/bio.html)
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• 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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