Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks


Rosa Parks


Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet)


Tabligh (Cuneiform Records)

Buy Track


Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet), Vijay Iyer (piano), John Lindberg (bass), Ronald Shannon Jackson (drums).

Composed by Wadada Leo Smith


Recorded: Los Angeles, 2005


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Smith joined the AACM back in 1967, and has witnessed the whole life cycle of the avant-garde from its origins on the fringes to its second career in academia. The outsiders somehow managed to become insiders -- and I'm not just talkin' chord changes! Smith himself is now Director of the African American Improvisational Music Program at Cal Arts. But this music doesn't belong in the ivory tower . . . not a bit. Smith lingers at the meeting point between free and modal on this track. "Rosa Parks" begins and ends with extended solo trumpet sections, understated and haunting. But in between, the listener is tossed into a cauldron of grooving sound. The trumpeter, for his part, feeds off the energy of a world-class rhythm section. Smith's so-called "Golden Quartet" has changed its personnel over the years, but this lineup of Iyer, Jackson and Lindberg keeps things edgy and full of surprises. Old jazz revolutionaries never die . . . they just take another chorus!

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

Tags: · ·

Comments are closed.