Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa

by Wadada Leo Smith


$15.48 $16.99 Save 9% Current price is $15.48, Original price is $16.99. You Save 9%.
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Thursday, February 22 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.


Lake Biwa

The four pieces that make up Wadada Leo Smith's Lake Biwa were composed between 2000 and 2004. They appear here for the first time. The musicians who perform these pieces include John Zorn; drummers Susie Ibarra, Gerald Cleaver, and Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng; pianists Craig Taborn, Jamie Saft, Anthony Coleman, and Yuko Fujiama; bassists John Lindberg and Wes Brown; violinist Jennifer Choi; cellist Erik Friedlander; guitarist Marc Ribot; and tuba player Marcus Rojas. This is quite a lineup, to say the least. Smith has been composing with his originally conceived and developed Ankhrasmation system of notation since the early '70s. The subdued title track is ethereal in places, yet utterly grounded by its sense of time and color. Smith's trumpet enters at midpoint and begins to stir the players to improvisation without ever losing sight of the melody and harmony in the piece. The longest work here is "Sanai's Enclosed Garden of the Truth." Smith uses spacious intervals to meticulously enter the theme, breaking it down a bit at a time as improvisers enter the fray. Zorn's solo here is exceptional; he rides along Friedlander's cello as the piano anchors the piece harmonically until it's time to solo, and then the burden of structure is laid at the feet of the strong players. Choi's violin and Friedlander's cello carry it out in counterpoint against the drums and piano. "Diamondback Serpent in a House Full of Water and Still Rising" is introduced by the piano. A theme is played, considered, and recounted with fewer notes, and then disintegrates as the ensemble enters and creates tension that eventually explodes. The final work here, "Africana World," employs long tonal drones and skittering movement on the part of the strings, and Smith carries the motion of the piece forward when the rest of the ensemble enters, introduced by the staccato repetitive movement of Cleaver's drums. In sum, Lake Biwa is a delight, and is full of invention. The players here perform the work's written and improvised sections with a determined sense of attack that also includes warmth, humor, and the desire for collective discovery. Smith has been on a tear for the past 15 years. Let's hope it continues.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/07/2004
Label: Tzadik
UPC: 0702397800828
catalogNumber: 8008
Rank: 106369

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wadada Leo Smith   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Conductor
Marc Ribot   Guitar
John Lindberg   Bass
Anthony Coleman   Piano
Erik Friedlander   Cello
Marcus Rojas   Tuba
John Zorn   Alto Saxophone
Jamie Saft   Piano
Craig Taborn   Piano
Gerald Cleaver   Drums
Yuko Fujiyama   Piano
Susie Ibarra   Drums
Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng   Drums
Wes Brown   Bass
Jennifer Choi   Violin

Technical Credits

Wadada Leo Smith   Composer,Producer
John Zorn   Executive Producer
Jamie Saft   Engineer,Engineering
Scott Groller   Portrait Photography

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews