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Wadada Leo Smith: Kabell Years, 1971-1979

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Trumpeter, composer, music theorist, and cultural activist Wadada Leo Smith has been a leading light in the jazz and new music vanguard for nearly 40 years. His numerous recordings for Black Saint, Moers Music, Pi, Boxholder, ECM, Tzadik, and other labels in Europe, Japan, and the United States are all elements of the evolutionary progress of his wonderfully idiosyncratic system called "new world music." This four-CD box set on John Zorn's Tzadik label is incontrovertible proof of the label's mission to issue music by artists he respects regardless of commercial value or "critical" devaluation. Kabell was a label set up by Smith to document his theories regarding not only ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Trumpeter, composer, music theorist, and cultural activist Wadada Leo Smith has been a leading light in the jazz and new music vanguard for nearly 40 years. His numerous recordings for Black Saint, Moers Music, Pi, Boxholder, ECM, Tzadik, and other labels in Europe, Japan, and the United States are all elements of the evolutionary progress of his wonderfully idiosyncratic system called "new world music." This four-CD box set on John Zorn's Tzadik label is incontrovertible proof of the label's mission to issue music by artists he respects regardless of commercial value or "critical" devaluation. Kabell was a label set up by Smith to document his theories regarding not only the structure of music but its sonorities, its integrational possibilities with society at large, and of course more requisite ideas about the development of harmony, tonal integration, and the language of elocution he created. The box compiles music from four albums: the truly moving and beautiful first Kabell release Creative Music -- 1, which featured Smith solo using trumpet, flügelhorn, and a plethora of percussions and stringed instruments; the trio sides with pianist Anthony Davis and bassist Wes Brown from the second Kabell album Reflectativity; the trio and quintet sides with his New Dalta Ahkri band that included Oliver Lake and Pheeroan akLaff in addition to Brown and Davis from the next Kabell disc Song of Humanity; and his return to solo work and extended composition from the fourth Kabell disc Akhreanvention. In addition to the four original albums contained on single discs, there is over two hours of supplemental material that corresponds to the release of each album in different settings, much of it recorded live. What this accomplishes is not merely to fill out individual CDs, but to offer a multidimensional articulation of Smith's vision in the context of being in the world and to bring this new musical language to audiences who may not have encountered it before. This aspect of Kabell Years cannot be overstated. Smith's musical world has grown multidimensionally over the past 30 years, and the 1970s were pivotal for its foundation. Scores are reprinted in the booklet to offer views of how parallel sound universes intersect in Smith's pieces as narrative devices -- stunning examples are the score for his "Transcendental Suite" and "t wmukl -- D." In Smith's sonic terrain, improvisation offers an in for the scored compositions to become less centrally focused, and therefore open-ended, inconclusive, and full of possibilities both identifiable and remote. His use of tonal interpolation and extended harmonic levels offers integration not only of the blues, but also of Eastern sonorities, methods of breath control, and the expression of the musical unconscious as a nurtured, analytical process. However, the solo recordings are the most satisfying, because Smith's sense of humor is fully expressed as a part of his vision; his warmth and accessibility are what set him apart from many of his peers, and there is great tenderness and poetry in the way he uses musical language as a place for dialogue rather than dictation. This is a monumentally important addition to the recorded library of avant-garde music and should be considered a necessary part of any enthusiast's shelf.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Tzadik
  • UPC: 702397761020
  • Catalog Number: 7610
  • Sales rank: 94,170

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nine (9) Stones on a Mountain (5:28)
  2. 2 Improvisation No. 4 (7:16)
  3. 3 Creative Music - 1 (11:57)
  4. 4 aFmie - Poem (solo) DancE 3 (13:12)
  5. 5 Ogotommêli: Dogon Sage (8:13)
  6. 6 Ep - 1 (3:06)
  7. 7 Ngoma: Gravity and Lightwaves (8:43)
  8. 8 Seeds (4:18)
  9. 9 Zekr (4:10)
  10. 10 Until the Fire (11:27)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Reflectivity (22:24)
  2. 2 t wmukl - D (18:46)
  3. 3 North American Stomp (6:54)
  4. 4 Visions (17:35)
  5. 5 Transcendental Suite (10:07)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Song of Humanity (5:16)
  2. 2 Lexicon (7:44)
  3. 3 Peacocks, Gazelles, Dogwood Trees & Six Silver Coins (8:34)
  4. 4 Of Blues and Dreams (11:08)
  5. 5 Pneuma (1:37)
  6. 6 Tempio (7:06)
  7. 7 Play Ebony Play Ivory (27:12)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Life Sequence 1 (12:35)
  2. 2 Love is a Rare Beauty (18:27)
  3. 3 Aura (2:59)
  4. 4 Ankrasmation (20:08)
  5. 5 Atoke (3:24)
  6. 6 Fana (7:10)
  7. 7 The Zebra Goes Wild (10:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Wadada Leo Smith Primary Artist, Flute, Harmonica, Percussion, Trumpet, Autoharp, Cymbals, Drums, Flugelhorn, Gong, Horn, Marimbas, Recorder, Pocket Trumpet, Zither, Wood Flute, Bells, Indian Bells, Indian Flute, Hand Drums, Metal Plates, Metal Objects
Anthony Davis Organ, Flute, Piano, Electric Piano
Oliver Lake Flute, Percussion, Soprano, Marimbas, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Pheeroan akLaff Percussion, Drums
Wes Brown Bass, Flute
Wes Brown Bass
Leo Smith & New Dalta Ahkri Ensemble
Wes Brown Flute, Double Bass
Technical Credits
Henry Kaiser Liner Notes, Author
Anthony Davis Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Author
Leroy Jenkins Liner Notes, Author
George Lewis Liner Notes, Author
Bobby Naughton Liner Notes
Wadada Leo Smith Composer, Sound Effects, Producer, Contributor, Audio Production
Gerry Hemingway Engineer, Engineering
Wayne Peet Noise Reduction
Larry Ochs Liner Notes
Barrington Scott Engineer
John Zorn Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Author
Pete Crawford Engineer
Scott Hull Mastering
Thomas Buckner Liner Notes, Author
Alvin Singleton Author
Doug Clark Engineer, Engineering
Larry Och Author
Wes Brown Producer
Peter Solak Engineering
Wes Brown Producer, Contributor
Alvin Singelton Liner Notes
Barri Scott Engineering
Nathan James Mastering
Peter Crawford Engineering
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