Occupy the World

Occupy the World

by Tumo


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In 2012, composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith delivered his large-scale, conceptual opus Ten Freedom Summers as well as the bracing duet recording Ancestors with drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. At nearly 72, he shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by Occupy the World, a two-disc package recorded with the 20-piece Nordic ensemble TUMO which features among its ranks trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, flutist Juhani Aaltone, harpist Iro Haarla, saxophonist Frederik Ljungqvist, and drummer Stefan Pasborg. There are numerous winds, strings, electric guitars, vibes, electronics, accordion, brass, piano, and drums. There are five new compositions on offer here, the shortest of which is just under 16 minutes. These new pieces extend out from Smith's composing system that doesn't use transposition of any instrument's natural key; he uses the entire C spectrum as his base. What this means is that there are sections written with carefully designed passages that use an instrument's natural voice and harmonics. His system is also non-metric; it uses proportional relationships to guide the music along his envisioned horizontal flow. In addition to built-in dynamic tensions, widely varying textural elements, and elaborate harmonic constructions, there is considerable freedom built in for players to interact with one another all along his tonal range with varying tempi. While this creates an organic dissonance, it also creates almost limitless possibilities. "Mount Kilimanjaro (Love and Compassion for John Lindberg)" is a concerto written for and featuring the double bassist as prime soloist backed by three drummers. It is a tribute to his instincts as an improviser, attendant listener, and anchor in many of Smith's ensembles over the last 35 years, and is one of the three real treasures here. Disc two contains two truly major new works: "Crossing on a Southern Road (A Memorial for Marion Brown)," an expansive, colorful, yet brooding work that involves multiple ensembles covering various tonal ranges and contains one of Smith's most moving trumpeter solos on record, and "Occupy the World for Life, Liberty, and Justice," which had its debut performance in 2011 and has been substantially revised since for performance with this large group. Over half-an-hour, this ambitious work ranges from detailed notated sections where various units interact with others, sometimes slowly, spaciously, and deliberately, creating tensions that result in cacophonous, colorful, and wildly energetic interplay. It simultaneously celebrates the energy commitment and diversity of the Occupy movement, as well as depicting its sometimes tense encounters with police, government, and media. The handsome booklet that accompanies this package contains detailed notes by Smith, photos, as well as biographies of all the musicians. Occupy the World is a demanding listening experience -- we'd expect nothing less from a composer of Smith's mettle -- but its rewards are abundant for both fans of vanguard jazz and modern composition.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/18/2013
Label: Tum Records
UPC: 6430015280373
catalogNumber: 37
Rank: 215262

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tumo   Primary Artist
Juhani Aaltonen   Flute,Alto Flute,Bass Flute,Piccolo
John Lindberg   Double Bass,Soloist
Wadada Leo Smith   Trumpet,Conductor,Soloist
Iro Haarla   Harp
Seppo Kantonen   Piano
Mikko Innanen   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Veli Kujala   Quarter Tone Accordion
Kalle Kalima   Electric Guitar
Mika Kallio   Drums
Mikko Iivanainen   Electric Guitar
Jari Hongisto   Trombone
Verneri Pohjola   Trumpet,electronics
Stefan Pasborg   Drums
Janne Tuomi   Drums,Marimbas
Ulf Krokfors   Double Bass
Barbora Hilpo   Viola
Terhi Pylkkänen   Violin
Niels Thorkild Levinsen   Violin
Kenneth Ojutkangas   Tuba
Kalle Hassinen   Horn
Iida-Vilhelmiina Laine   Cello
Fredrik Ljungqvist   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone,Sax (Sopranino)

Technical Credits

Wadada Leo Smith   Composer,Liner Notes
Esa Santonen   Engineer
Petri Haussila   Producer
Nikopetri Paakkuainen   Engineer
Leena Luostarinen   Artwork
Franz A. Matzner   Liner Notes

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