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Smith, Wadada Leo / Bill Laswell / Milford Graves: Sacred Ceremonies [3 CDs] (Tum)

The 2nd of two 3-CD sets released as trumpeter Wadada Leo nears his 80th birthday, these albums were recorded in 2015 & 2016 in bassist Bill Laswell's studio, the first presenting the duo of Smith and late drummer Milford Graves, the second a duo with Laswell, those discs leading to the expansive and outstanding full trio of Smith, Laswell & Graves on the final disc.
 

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product information:


UPC: 6430015288034

Label: Tum
Catalog ID: TUM 803
Squidco Product Code: 30224

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Finland
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Orange Music Sound Studios in West Orange, New Jersey, on May 26th, 27th, 2016, and December 11th and 12th, 2015, by James Dellatacoma .


Personnel:

Wadada Leo Smith-trumpet

Bill Laswell-basses

Milford Graves-drums, percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"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)
7/28/2021

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"Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, The Dalai Lama, Matisyahu, Angelique Kidjo, DJ Krush, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Sting, The Last Poets, Afrika Bambaataa, Julian Schnabel, Whitney Houston, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and most notably Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single "Rock-It" which introduced scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great jazz pianist instant street credibility among the burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti.

Laswell's sense of creative daring as a producer was further demonstrated on several recordings that have kept him on the cutting edge, including Afrika Bambaataa's collaboration with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) on World Destruction and PiL's Album (which brought together an unlikely pairing of drumming greats Ginger Baker and Tony Williams, synth-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame and rising guitar star Steve Vai). His spoken word collaborations with William S. Burroughs and expatriate writer-composer Paul Bowles have gone against the grain of music industry trends while his radical remixes (or re-constructions) of landmark recordings by Miles Davis (Panthalassa), Carlos Santana (Divine Light), Bob Marley (Dreams of Freedom) and a vast scan of dub-related and atmospheric ambient projects have gone on to further defined Laswell's presence as a revolutionary ikonoklast.

Bill Laswell has helped in generating several innovative recording labels such as Celluloid, Subharmonic, Black Arc, and Innerhythmic. Along with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley and U2), he established the AXIOM label in 1989. M.O.D. Technologies, his most recent imprint is releasing projects by Method Of Defiance, Lee "Scratch" Perry, PRAXIS, Garrison Hawk with Sly & Robbie, Bernie Worrell, The Process (with Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and pianist Jon Baptiste) and progressive/futuristic music from Ethiopia (CDs/DVDs).

As a player, Laswell's bass lines resound with rare authority on groundbreaking projects by Tabla Beat Science (with Zakir Hussain and Ustad Sultan Khan), his avant-funk band Material, the apocalyptic assault of Last Exit (with Sonny Sharrock), his progressive dub effected Method of Defiance and the throbbingly intense power trios, Massacre (with Fred Frith and Charles Hayward), Painkiller (with John Zorn and Mick Harris), Praxis (with Buckethead and Brain), Blixt (with Raoul Bjorkenheim and Morgan Agren) and the latest (2014) Bladerunner (with John Zorna and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo).

Laswell's artistic reach has consistently extended to the continent of Africa, creating ground-breaking, evolutionary snd controversial recording projects in Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Gambia and most recently, Ethiopia where he has established a base for developing new as well as legendary artists, just as he did in the South Bronx some 30 years ago.

A veteran of 300 plus journeys to Japan, where he has worked with everyone from The Gagaku Orchestra (Japan's ancient music, only played for emperors for 1500 years), to avant-jazz, rock, hip-hop and DJ culture. An eternal musical renegade, Bill Laswell has always played by his own rules."

-Bill Laswell Website (http://www.billlaswell.net/biography.html)
7/28/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Milford Graves (born August 20, 1941 in Queens, New York) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist, most noteworthy for his early avant-garde contributions in the early 1960s with Paul Bley and the New York Art Quartet alongside John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, and Reggie Workman. He is considered to be a free jazz pioneer, liberating the percussion from its timekeeping role. In fact, many of his music contemporaries, musician inspirees, and fans worldwide would argue that Graves is perhaps the most influential known musician in the development and continuing evolution of free-jazz/avant-garde music, to date. Milford Graves taught at Bennington College, in Bennington, Vermont, as a full-time professor from 1973 until 2011, when he was awarded Emeritus status.

Initially playing timbales as a kid growing up in Queens, Graves has worked as a sideman and session musician with a variety of jazz musicians throughout his career, including Pharoah Sanders, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Don Pullen, Kenny Clarke, Don Moye, Andrew Cyrille, Philly Joe Jones, Eddie Gómez, and John Zorn. He has invested his time in research within the field of healing through music.

In 2013, Milford Graves along with Drs.Carlo Tremolada and Carlo Ventura received a patent for an invention that relates to a process of preparing a non-expanded tissue derivative, that is not subjected to cell proliferation in vitro, which has a vascular-stromal fraction enriched in stem and multipotent elements, such as pericytes and/or mesenchymal stem cells, or for preparing non-embryonic stem cells obtained from a tissue sample or from such tissue derivative, wherein the tissue derivative or such cells are subjected to vibrations derived from a heart sound to control the degree of differentiation or possible differentiation of the stem and multipotent elements into several other types of cells and optimize their potency. The invention relates also to a device for carrying out the process, to stem cells obtainable by the process as well as a drug for the regeneration of an animal tissue."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Graves)
7/28/2021

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track listing:


Disc 1 (Wadada Leo Smith & Milford Graves):



1. Nyoto 1

2. Nyoto 2

3. Nyoto 3

4. Baby Dodds In Congo Square

5. Celebration Rhythms

6. Poetic Sonics

7. The Poet: Play Ebony, Play Ivory (For Henry Dumas)



Disc 2:



1. Ascending the Sacred Waterfall - A Ceremonial Practice 11:12

2. Prince - The Blue Diamond Spirit 6:12

3. Donald Ayler's Rainbow Summit 7:08

4. Tony Williams 4:55

5. Mysterious Night 7:34

6. Earth - A Morning Song 6:31

7. Minnie Ripperton - The Chicago Bronzeville Master Blaster 13:02



Disc 3:



1. Social Justice-A Fire for Reimagining the World 6:35

2. Myths of Civilizations and Revolutions 8:48

3. Truth in Expansion 10:13

4. The Healer's Direct Energy 11:04

5. Waves of Elevated Horizontal Forces 11:00

6. An Epic Journey Inside the Center of Color 6:32

7. Ruby Red Largo - A Sonnet 10:52
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Sacred Ceremonies brings together three distinct and highly influential movements in contemporary creative music, convening in a once-in-a-lifetime meeting of wholly singular minds. Wadada Leo Smith was a member of the first generation of composers and musicians to come out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in Chicago in the 1960s whereas Milford Graves was an important proponent of the "new music" or "free jazz" movement in New York City during the same decade. Bill Laswell in turn was an integral part of the Downtown scene in New York City in the 1970s. From those early days, they have each long since forged a totally unique personal approach to making music and have now together created a collection of music that transcends any easily definable influences."-Tum



"As he approached his eightieth birthday, Wadada Leo Smith could have been content to sit out the year of nothingness that Covid-19 brought in 2020 and beyond. With his 2013 Pulitzer Prize nomination, a 2016 Doris Duke Award, and nearly one-hundred recording credits, the trumpeter & multi-instrumentalist has landed at the top of countless polls throughout his distinguished career. But, stepping away from the music, if only for a brief respite, is not part of the improviser's plan so, in the first half of 2021, Smith gives us two TUM Records box sets. Here, the focus is on his three-disc release, Sacred Ceremonies.

The three discs were recorded between late 2015 and mid-2016 in the West Orange, New Jersey, studio of bassist Bill Laswell. The first disc features a Milford Graves and Smith duo, the second a duo with Laswell, and the third, a combined trio. The Smith-Graves disc is a crackling collection of creative energy. "Nyoto 2" and "Baby Dodds In Congo Square" account for almost half the side. Graves' astounding methodology, rapid delivery, and clarity feel like a springboard for Smith's ethereal trumpet. The Laswell section is highlighted by another long work, "Ascending the Sacred Waterfall: A Ceremonial Practice." Laswell, a one-person spectrum of aural sensations, alternates between reverberating shapes and translucent shadows. Smith's lower register is crystalline and moving; the whole piece is iridescent. When the trio joins up, opening with "Social Justice-A Fire for Reimagining the World," it feels like the first two discs had built up to this outstanding section. Smouldering improvisations launch the blistering "The Healer's Direct Energy," and carry over to "An Epic Journey Inside the Center of Color."

Smith, Graves (who passed away in 2021) and Laswell come from diverse experiences and significant achievements in music. They do not seem like top- of-mind personnel for a joint project, but they have history. Smith and Laswell recorded together in 2014 and 2017. Graves and Laswell had issued two duo albums, and Smith and Graves performed with John Zorn at the saxophonist's 2015 namesake festival. The three define virtuosity and, in these various pairings, they eclipse genre and approach with unconventional ideas, beautifully executed."-Karl Ackermann


Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:


Box Sets
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Trio Recordings
Smith, Leo
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


Other Releases With These Artists:
Arcana: Bill Laswell / Tony Williams
Arc of the Testimony
(Mod Reloaded)
Smith, Wadada Leo / Douglas R. Ewart / Mike Reed
Sun Beans of Shimmering Light
(Astral Spirits)
Frith, Fred
Crossing Borders (Volume 2 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020) [BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
Frith, Fred
Rocking The Boat (Volume 1 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020) [BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
McKenzie II, Donald Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell and Vernon Reid)
Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block
(577 Records)
Lowe, Frank
The Flam [VINYL]
(Black Saint Vinyl)
Kosi
Stranger In Every Town
(self-released)
Kosi
Stranger In Every Town
(self-released)
Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith
The Sweetness of the Water [VINYL]
(Treader)
Douglas, Dave
Showing Up / The Power of the Vote [7" VINYL]
(Greenleaf Music)
Smith, Wadada Leo
Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum)
McKenzie II, Donald Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliot Sharp, Bill Laswell, Vernon Reid)
Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577 Records)
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Smith, Wadada Leo / John Lindberg
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Smith, Wadada Leo
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Sanchez, Angelica / Wadada Leo Smith
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(Clean Feed)
Smith, Wadada Leo & Tumo
Occupy The World [2 CDs]
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Shipp, Matthew
Greatest Hits
(Thirsty Ear)
Smith's Mbira, Wadada Leo
Dark Lady Of The Sonnets
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Smith, Wadada Leo Organic
Heart's Reflection [2 CDs]
(Cuneiform)
Malaby, Tony
Tamarindo Live
(Clean Feed)
Smith, Wadada Leo / Anthony Braxton
Saturn, Conjunct the Grand Canyon in a Sweet Embrace
(Pi Recordings)
Smith, Wadada Leo's Golden Quartet
The Year of the Elephant
(Pi Recordings)
Recommended & Related Releases:
Smith, Wadada Leo / Douglas R. Ewart / Mike Reed
Sun Beans of Shimmering Light
(Astral Spirits)
Frith, Fred
Crossing Borders (Volume 2 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020) [BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
Frith, Fred
Rocking The Boat (Volume 1 Of The Fred Records Story, 2001-2020) [BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
Lowe, Frank
The Flam [VINYL]
(Black Saint Vinyl)
Kosi
Stranger In Every Town
(self-released)
Kosi
Stranger In Every Town
(self-released)
Smith, Wadada Leo
Solo - Reflections And Meditations On Monk
(Tum)
Braxton, Anthony
3 Compositions Of New Jazz
(Delmark)
Smith, Wadada Leo
Red Chrysanthemums | Solos 1977
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Smith, Wadada Leo / John Lindberg
Celestial Weather
(Tum)
Smith, Wadada Leo
The Great Lakes Suites [2 CDs]
(Tum)
Sanchez, Angelica / Wadada Leo Smith
Twine Forest
(Clean Feed)
Smith, Wadada Leo & Tumo
Occupy The World [2 CDs]
(Tum)
Smith's Mbira, Wadada Leo
Dark Lady Of The Sonnets
(Tum)
Malaby, Tony
Tamarindo Live
(Clean Feed)
Other Recommended Releases:
Arcana: Bill Laswell / Tony Williams
Arc of the Testimony
(Mod Reloaded)
McKenzie II, Donald Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell and Vernon Reid)
Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block
(577 Records)
Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith
The Sweetness of the Water [VINYL]
(Treader)
OGJB Quartet, The (Lake / Haynes / Fonda / Altschul)
Bamako
(Tum)
Douglas, Dave
Showing Up / The Power of the Vote [7" VINYL]
(Greenleaf Music)
Smith, Wadada Leo
Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum)
Haarla, Iro / Ulf Krokfors / Barry Altschul
Around Again | The Music Of Carla Bley
(Tum)
McKenzie II, Donald Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliot Sharp, Bill Laswell, Vernon Reid)
Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577 Records)
Smith, Wadada Leo
Najwa
(Tum)
Olavi Trio (Hauta / Hongisto / Louhivuori)
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Shipp, Matthew
Greatest Hits
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Search for other titles on the Tum label.