Lauded as one of the most vital musicians on the planet by Coda, and "one of the most imaginative and explorative composers in creative music." by John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most visionary, boldly original and artistically important figures in contemporary American Jazz and free music, and one of the most distinctive trumpet players of our time.
Spread out over four discs, Ten Freedom Summers is based on the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and Wadada Leo Smith has been working on it on and off for over 30 years. It features performances by his Golden Quartet/Quintet and a small chamber ensemble, including Anthony Davis, John Lindberg, Pheeroan AkLaaf, Susie Ibarra and others. Wadada's previous albums on Cuneiform have been extremely strong sellers and have received huge critical acclaim and strong radio play and Ten Freedom Summers is not only a truly remarkable recording, it is Wadada s piece de resistance of his musical accomplishments. Having recently turned 70 and more active now than anytime in his career, with Ten Freedom Summers , Wadada Leo Smith continues to point forward in his work.
Play any one of these 19 songs and you're confronted or seduced by gorgeous sound combinations. Ensembles break apart and re-form into audacious musical shapes that you'll remember like landmarks, even when the music's off. Smith's trumpet savors meditative dissonance along with strings and harp; his Golden Quartet or Quintet, sometimes featuring two drummers, races through passages of wild improvisation. The whole thing is impressive, yes, but also spellbinding, like the book you read for school that alters how you think about everything. --PopMatters Picks: The Best Music of 2012 : The 75 Best Albums of 2012