Wadada Leo Smith is among the most prolific composers of string quartets in the modern era, the only Black composer to have written so many, and one of the most adventurous writers of quartets in terms of his notation system and the distinctiveness of his musical language.
Wadada Leo Smith
Classical Album Review: Wadada Leo Smith: String Quartets Nos. 1 – 12, played by the RedKoral Quartet and Guests
Over the past year, I’ve delved into the most significant body of work for string quartet ever written by a composer whose primary identity with the public is as a jazz musician. Here’s how to begin your own encounter with important facets of the work of an artist whose name you ought to know.
Jazz Review and Appreciation: Wadada Leo Smith’s “The Chicago Symphonies”
If you are not familiar with Wadada Leo Smith as an artist or as a thinker, you could start with The Chicago Symphonies and know that you are engaging with some of his finest work.
Jazz Albums Review: “Skyline” and “A Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday” — Marching to the Beat of the Same Drummer
The presence of veteran drummer Jack DeJohnette ties together two new releases.
Album Review: Deerhoof and Wadada Leo Smith — Electrical Soul Music
That this assemblage works so well is a tribute to the big ears and hearts — and collective intelligence — of all the players here.
Jazz CD Review: Wadada Leo Smith’s “Rosa Parks: Pure Love” — Making History Present
Rosa Parks: Pure Love is a serious, substantial, and long work, alternately harsh and calming, one that I am sure should be seen as well as heard.
Jazz CD Reviews: Wadada Leo Smith — Paying Superb Homage to Monk, and Other Heroes
That’s why Wadada Leo Smith’s musical visions are so miraculous: there’s an impression of drift, yet they rarely meander.
Jazz CD Round-up: Jane Ira Bloom, Robert Glasper, Wadada Leo Smith, Anna Webber, and More
Over a dozen short notices of recent jazz recordings that I find musically stimulating.
Jazz CD Review: Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith — Exploring Cosmic Possibilities in Sound
Pianist Vijay Iyer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith produce music that is precise and quietly evocative, peaceful and gently probing.
Fuse Album Review: Fresh Improvisational Sounds from Finland’s TUM Records
According to its web site, TUM operates mainly thanks to volunteers. We should be grateful.