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Smith, Wadada Leo: Trumpet [3 CDs] (Tum)

Pure Wadada Leo Smith in a 3-CD box set of solo recordings from 2016 captured at and using the natural resonance of the St. Mary's Church in the town of Pohja, on the Southern Coast of Finland, presenting fourteen new compositions, including four extended multi-part works, as Smith demonstrates his incredible authority, investigative spirit and spiritual approach to the horn.

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product information:

UPC: 6430015288027

Label: Tum
Catalog ID: TUMR802.2
Squidco Product Code: 30223

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Finland
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at St. Mary«s Church in Pohja, Finland, on July 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th, 2016, by Miikka Huttunen.


Wadada Leo Smith-trumpet

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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 (

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

Disc 1:

1. Albert Ayler 7:08

2. Rashomon, Part 1 The Film 5:47

3. Rashomon, Part 2 The Killing 8:01

4. Rashomon, Part 3 The Court 4:26

5. Rashomon, Part 4 The Memories and Reflections 2:33

6. Rashomon, Part 5 The Verdict 4:20

7. Howard and Miles - A Photographic Image 3:13

8. Metallic Rainbow (For Steve McCall) 10:12

9. Sauna - A Healthy Journey 4:21

Disc 2:

1. Malik el-Shabazz and the People of the Shahada 6:18

2. The Great Litany, Part 1 The Opening 5:33

3. The Great Litany, Part 2 First Meditation 3:39

4. The Great Litany, Part 3 Second Meditation 3:24

5. The Great Litany, Part 4 Third Meditation 3:34

6. The Great Litany, Part 5 The Closing 4:06

7. Leroy Jenkins Violin Expressions 5:04

8. James Baldwin - No Name in the Street; War 8:04

9. Amina Claudine Myers 5:12

10. Sonic Night - Night Colors (For Reggie Workman) 6:01

Disc 3:

1. Discourses on the Sufi Path, Part 1 Chivalry; Noble Attributes; Unity of Being 5:48

2. Discourses on the Sufi Path, Part 2 Festival of the Two Breaths 5:25

3. Discourses on the Sufi Path, Part 3 Pilgrimage; The Heart; The Valley of Annihilation; Divine Unity 6:22

4. Discourses on the Sufi Path, Part 4 Presence of Breath; Presence of Heart 1:52

5. Family - A Contemplation of Love, Part 1 Agape - Unselfish Love 2:19

6. Family - A Contemplation of Love, Part 2 Philia - Love, Friendship, Affinity and Beloved 3:31

7. Family - A Contemplation of Love, Part 3 Eros - Representing Love or the Power of Love 4:23

8. Family - A Contemplation of Love, Part 4 Agape - Unselfish Love; The Love of God for Humankind 1:57

9. Trumpet 3:54
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Trumpet was recorded over one beautiful summer week in July 2016 at St. Mary's Church in the town of Pohja, on the Southern Coast of Finland. It features fourteen new compositions by Wadada Leo Smith, including four extended multi-part works. As a whole, Trumpet represents a totally unique journey into the possibilities of the trumpet as a solo instrument and the immersive, almost meditative power of Smith's extended solo performance."-Tum

"In a half-century of recording, he has never stopped exploring the parameters of the form and instrument. Listening to composer/trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is demanding but rewarding. His inspirations are classical in the small 'c' sense: the AACM, Persian music, August Wilson, Stravinsky, spirituals, and so on. Before the masses woke, Smith's music had incorporated political, cultural, spiritual, and environmental awareness. The elder statesman of new music continues his prolific output with TUM Records box sets for the first half of 2021. His Sacred Ceremonies three-disc release features bassist Bill Laswell and the late drummer Milford Graves, in duo and trio combinations. Trumpet, also a three-CD set, is solo Smith.

Smith began his recording career with a solo album, Creative Music (TMS Records, 1971). It was later included on the four-disc Kabell Years (Tzadik, 2004), along with Solo Music: Ahkreanvention (Kabell, 1979). More recently, Smith recorded his interpretations of Thelonious Monk compositions, and Monk-inspired originals, on Solo: Reflections And Meditations On Monk (TUM, 2017).

Where Smith's playing has always shone brightest is in the difficult-to-play lower register. He opens the first disc there with "Albert Ayler," a piece that reflects the trumpeter's appreciation of the saxophonist's spirituality. The five-part "The Great Litany-A Reflective Memory of al-Shadhili" is a highlight of this collection. Across nearly twenty minutes, Smith pays tribute to the thirteenth-century founder of the Sufi order of Sunni Islam. The suite is thoughtful and substantive. Of equal length is "Discourses on the Sufi Path-A Remembrance of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh." In four movements, Smith celebrates Nurbakhsh's influence over his practice of Islam. A final suite, "Family-A Contemplation of Love," reflects the natural development of that unit through the similar growth of the music.

Trumpet was recorded at Saint Mary's Church in Pohja, Finland, in the summer of 2020; the acoustics adding further weight to Smith's opulent, dazzling tone. Much of the two-plus hours is somber but uplifting. Smith's compositions are sophisticated and expressive, his playing, clear as a bell. A bonus with the box set is the striking self-portrait cover art. Highly recommended."-Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

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

Box Sets
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Smith, Leo
Recordings featuring brass instruments - trumpets, trombones, tubas, other horns
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