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Ten Freedom Summers

Ten Freedom Summers

May 22, 2012

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1
30
11:48
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5:15
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18:02
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22:08
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Disc 2
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12:43
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16:35
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Disc 3
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16:40
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10:07
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Disc 4
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14:11
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9:39
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3
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8:36
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4
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14:30
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20:34
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Cuneiform Records
  • Copyright: (c) 2012 Wadada Leo Smith
  • Total Length: 4:33:48
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0080TBG2Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,081 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Last Person You'd Expect on December 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ten Freedom Summers is a collection of compositions mixing chamber orchestration provided by the ten-member Southwest Chamber Music ensemble and the cerebral avant-garde jazz we normally associate with WL Smith, provided by the familiar Golden Quartet. The tracks average about twelve minutes in length and range from five to over twenty minutes, spanning four discs.

This is the culmination of decades of work and is not simply an appendix to his more well-known works; the nineteen compositions here might be some of the most patiently and intricately-crafted of his career (or anybody's career), and I don't say 'patient' or 'intricate' lightly. In fact, in the few months I've been listening, I've yet to come close to wrapping my head around it because there's just so much happening within every track. The way it blends the now-well-known avant-garde jazz traditions with what is considered 'classical music' distances the album considerably from any familiar genre, although the jazzier sections owe a lot to Miles Davis's atmospheric style (In A Silent Way, Bitch's Brew).

Unlike most of jazz, the compositions here are more theatrical; enjoying them almost requires that you sit still and listen. It's therefore not easy to put it on a 'best-of-2012' list alongside names like Vijay Iyer. Despite its low-key release (like most of WL Smith's) and the fact that it was recorded in less time than the average lo-fi punk album (live, in 3 sessions), this could very well someday qualify as one of the most important recordings in modern music. If you're on the ropes about buying this, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TSK on July 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A monumental achievement. Very gratifying to see Wadada methodically delineate in his titles the direct revolutionary connection--a connection that always exists but is rarely made explicit--between the jazz avant-garde and the history of the (ongoing) struggle for social justice in America. It would be nice if this set included, say, a 60-page booklet that filled in this history in detail for those with little background in this area, but at under $24 for a four-disc set--which is even cheaper than the download, for some reason--this is not even a quibble. Hats off to Cuneiform, Wadada, and all the musicians for making this an eleventh freedom summer.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Case Quarter VINE VOICE on October 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
a friend walked in while TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS was playing. she groaned that the music sounded like something composed for tolstoi. i couldn't argue with her. this collection is stony, monumental. elegiac fanfares, some complete, others extend into more improvisational pieces. the spaces between smith's spare notes are filled with drumming that picks up from where the sound of the trumpet fades into oblivion. the drumming is full and bombastic.

there are four cds, a total of nineteen songs, seven of the selections are performed by a chamber ensemble, the southwest chamber music, with the occasional accompaniment from one of the members of smith's golden quintet.

the quintet is comprised of smith on trumpet, anthony davis on piano, john lindberg on bass, susan ibarra and pheeroan aklaff share drum duty, solo work by them is listed in the notes on the lineup.

it's no secret that a great deal of the music that came out of the 1970s jazz scene around aacm, sounds like military music played predominantly for military and state funerals. TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS follows as part of that tradition. and in the tradition of oliver nelson's THE KENNEDY DREAM and ornette coleman's SKIES OF AMERICA, TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS combines jazz and european concert music as tribute to moments and persons who stood out in the history of the united states.

TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS is not a suite, with all nineteen pieces functioning as parts of a single composition, however, there is plenty of music so that various arrangements create different listening experiences, such as listening to the chamber music pieces together in a sitting.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D Griffith on December 11, 2012
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Wadada Leo Smith has been very active in recording recently and this is the realization of a long-term project. He goes back and forth between performing with a small group (Golden Quartet/Quintet) and a contemporary classical group (and both). This reasonably priced four disc set is full of challenging music for the listener that probably should be enjoyed one disc at a time rather than a marathon listening session. Despite the quality of the set, anybody unfamiliar with Smith should probably investigate his earlier small group recordings to determine if this would be to their liking.
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