Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wadada Leo Smith and Louis Moholo-Moholo - Ancestors (TUM, 2012)

Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith has already had a stellar year with the release of his monumental work for jazz group and string ensemble, Ten Freedom Summers. This duet album goes in an entirely different direction, featuring Smith on trumpet and percussion with the South African expat drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, percussion and voice. Whereas the earlier album had a full and lush sound, drawing from the power of the civil rights movement, this album shows the musicians thrown into stark relief improvising patiently with each other and the silence that envelops them. Some of the improvisational sketches are dedicated to artists like “No Name In The Street, James Baldwin” and “Jackson Pollock - Action” where the trumpeter and drummer draw strength and inspiration from these artists and base their improvisation on the cadence and the color of their work. It is interesting to hear them work in such a wide open situation, because they are two veteran musicians that trust each other unconditionally and are willing to grant each other time and support to make the music successful. Culminating in the epic “Ancestors” suite, Smith and Moholo-Moholo honor those that came before them and stretch the boundaries of improvised music. Ancestors -

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