Friday, May 21, 2021

Wadada Leo Smith: Trumpet

Wadada Leo Smith
Trumpet (Tum Records; 2021)

Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet)

You always want to say "ambitious" when it comes to solo instrument projects. But when talking about Wadada Leo Smith--it's just another record. In fact, it's another amazing record from Wadada Leo Smith, aptly named Trumpet.

Trumpet is a massive three disc set that beautifully showcases the intimacy and urgency of Smith's playing. "Great Litany" is a haunting and majestic peice that reminded me of Miles Davis opening lines to "Generique." On "James Baldwin," Smith delivers slightly upbeat moments decorated with rapid emotion that you can hear the breathing tones as he grabs hold of your ear and heart--bringing you closer to his wonderful themes that float not only in this piece but everywhere else on Trumpet.

The patterns throughout Trumpet don't stretch far--and that's a good thing. This is Wadada Leo Smith at his most vulnerable. It's two plus hours of meditation, exploration and exaltation. Trumpet is a journey that needs to be experienced in a quiet and isolated manner. Well maybe loud is better.

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