Tag Archives: Wadada Leo Smith

Le Son du Grisli review by Luc Bouquet

CF 287Angelica Sanchez/Wadada Leo Smith – Twine Forest (CF 287)
Le ton est donné : le premier (Wadada Leo Smith) vrille ses aigus ; la seconde (Angelica Sanchez) plaque l’accord tranchant. La fidélité sera de mise. Les compositions de la pianiste porteront dans leurs veines la mémoire d’astres sombres. La trompette délivrera le filet de son, se perdra et se réverbérera dans le silence. Les accords-glas de la pianiste chercheront les passages secrets. Ceux qui, intimement, tentent d’investir la lumière. Une noire lumière précisément.

Et il aura ces trouées de cuivre, ce surgissement de blues. Un surgissement, certes court, mais qui dit tout des pactes passés. Et il y aura d’autres surgissements : ils auront pour territoire le murmure de la douleur, la masse frappant l’intérieur du piano, le velours des attentes. Et il y aura, surtout, deux musiciens portant à bras le corps une musique s’ajustant à leurs denses élans.

Jazz.pt review by Bernardo Álvares

CF 287Angelica Sanchez / Wadada Leo Smith – Twine Forest (CF 287)
Para este “Twine Forest”, a pianista e compositora Angelica Sanchez convidou o cada vez mais meritório do título de lendário Wadada Leo Smith, que acabou assim da melhor forma um ano de grande produtividade – lembremo-nos do fabuloso “Occupy the World”, que o trompetista gravou também em 2013 com a orquestra TUMO.

O duo é aqui responsável por alguma da música mais sábia editada nos últimos tempos. O jazz é desconstruído e reconstruído sem grande alarme. Demonstrando um enorme respeito pelo mestre Wadada, Sanchez assume, de modo geral, o papel de acompanhante, aplicando às composições (todas de sua autoria), só por si, uma grande profundidade. Sempre com a melhor tradição jazzística nos dedos, a pianista toca com uma maturidade assinalável.

Sobre a, sempre em diálogo, cama musical de Sanchez, Wadada Leo Smith, num misto de inteligência, simplicidade e espontaneidade, explora um universo que extravasa a música afro-americana. Impondo às peçass de Sanchez mais alma que higiene, Wadada afirma-se, uma vez mais, como um dos grandes intérpretes do nosso tempo.

Este conjunto de peças funciona muito bem enquanto audição atenta (a incrível captação permite ouvir os instrumentos com um detalhe assombroso), enquanto (uma versão nada incómoda de) música ambiente, ou enquanto repertório para ser cantado no banho.

Desenquadrado da restante produção discográfica tanto de Wadada Leo Smith como de Angelica Sanchez, este CD vem confirmar o estatuto do primeiro e chama ainda mais a atenção para o cada vez mais consistente trabalho de Sanchez.

Free Jazz review by Stef Gissels

CF 287Angelica Sanchez & Wadada Leo Smith – Twine Forest (CF 287)
Beautiful albums do not need many words. Pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez has invited Wadada Leo Smith to join her for a duo album, recorded in April of last year. Sanchez is a member of the trumpeter’s “Organic” Ensemble, whose “Heart’s Reflections” also received a 5-star rating on this blog. Smith made one trumpet-piano duo album before, “Interludes Of Breath & Substance” with Matthew Goodheart, which was good, but this one is truly excellent.

The great thing about the album is that both musicians are absolutely fabulous. And Sanchez doubly so, first for her compositions, which are inventive, abstract and open-ended, confident and sensitive at the same time, full of careful touches, very modern without going overboard. Second, her playing, is fabulous too. Disciplined and accurate and lyrical and fluid. She goes back to tradition, and in pieces like “Veinular Rub” – one of my favorites, you can hear the blues as much as the modern cinematic composition, full of dark drama and sentiment. And of course the quality of Smith’s playing no longer needs substantiation.

“Retinal Sand” is one of my favorite pieces, because of its sustained tension, starting with some playing inside the piano supporting trumpet blasts by Smith, yet then everything goes quiet, but not quite, when cautious, almost hesitant chords force the muted trumpet to increase the volume, and the speed and the sad tone blossoms, opening like a flower, into clarity and playfulness.

But my favorite track is also “Echolocation”, with its beautiful middle section of single notes on the piano as a tonal center for the muted trumpet to circle around, minimal yet so rich, so rich.

I will not review all eight of my favorite tracks on this album, but each one of them has its own story to tell, its own intimate conversation, full of warmth, openness and beauty. The stories are sensitive, sometimes with drama, and are human, about you and me, and other people, about sadness and joy, and everything in between, delivered with nuance and subtlety and depth.

In the madness of our world, with all its violence, its anger, its noise and loudness, its shallow feelings and lack of time to listen to people or music – and I mean really listen to them – this album comes like an oasis in the desert, like a moment of silence in the chaos, a moment of calm in the mayhem.

It will not only provide the listener with the joy of listening and getting enthusiastic about musical beauty, but the album is also guaranteed to have strong therapeutic effects, putting the rest of the world at rest, putting things in perspective and offer soothing solace.

JazzWrap review by Stephan Moore

CF 287Angelica Sanchez/Wadada Leo Smith – Twine Forest (CF 287)
Wadada Leo Smith / Tumo Orchestra – Occupy The World (Tum Records)

Intimacy and intricacy are the best ways to describe two recent collaborations from Wadada Leo Smith this year. The first, with Tumo Orchestra and then in a duo session with pianist Anglecia Sanchez.

Occupy The World is another epic orchestral work with lots of improvisation and intense mood setting movements. Inspired by the global Occupy movement from the past few years, this session is not as enveloping as last years Ten Freedom Summers but it is just as broad in scope.

“Queen Hatshepsut” inspired by the Egyptian queen of the same name, is a piece flows up and down with rough chords from both Smith, the string section and Kantonen’s fierce and sublime piano performance. The title track has various stages of deep reflection, as in the middle sections filled with atmospherics and free float trumpet lines.

In a similar inspirational voyage, Smith explores more intimacy with Angelica Sanchez on Twine Forest. The two have worked together for years, Sanchez is part of Smith’s Golden Quartet and Organic group. Surprising that this is their first outing as a duo. Either way, it’s bright, personal and highly captivating.

“Retinal Sand” sees Sanchez experimenting with the insides of the piano strings and Smith swirling with haunting accuracy. In addition to explosive outburst that blend seamlessly with the rolling and very punctuated notes from Sanchez. “In The Falls Of” while being improvised shapes itself into a lovely almost romantic ballad. The notes are soft with a melody and sparseness that stretches the piece and the imagination making for a devotional experience.

Two excellent sessions featuring similar deep, inspiring thoughts but with very clear distinction and execution. Wadada Leo Smith makes clear that with Occupy The World and Twine Forest, he is one of the most creative and prolific composers among his elder statesman colleagues on the scene today.

JazzWrap best of 2013 list by Stephan moore

CF 287

Mary Halvorson: Ilusionary Sea
Jakob Bro: December Song
Mostly Other People Do The Killing: Slippery Rock!
Soren Gemmer: At First
Jason Moran/Charles Lloyd: Hagars Song
Cakewalk: Transfixed
Nicole Mitchell: Aquarius
Mikrokolektyw: Absent Minded
Nick Hempton: Odd Man Out
Wadada Leo Smith/Angelica Sanchez: Twine Forest
Kris Davis: Capricorn Climber
Fred Hersch/Benoit Delbecq: Funhouse
Zero Centigrade: Selce
Sava Marinkovic: Nowhere Near
Soweto Kinch: Legend Of Mike Smith
Luis Lopes: Live In Madison
Susana Santos Silva/Torbjorn Zetterberg: Almost Tomorrow
Soren Dahl Jeppesen: Pipe Dreams
Christian McBride: Out Here

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

CF 287Angelica Sanchez/ Wadada Leo Smith: Twine Forest (CF 287)
As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” It certainly does, and it also takes two to make beautiful music together. Pianist Angelica Sanchez and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith produce abundant beauty from Sanchez’ compositions on Twine Forest.

Smith’s recordings have ranged from large ensemble work— Silver Orchestra, Organic, and his electric-Miles Davis tribute band with Henry Kaiser Yo Miles!—to intimate duos with Louis Moholo-Moholo Ancestors (TUM, 2013), Jack DeJohnette America (Tzadik, 2009), Anthony Braxton Organic Resonance (Pi Recordings, 2003), and Ed Blackwell The Blue Mountain’s Sun Drummer (Kabell, 2010).

With Sanchez, Wadada is again exploring the trumpet innovations of Miles Davis by grabbing clumps of Davis’ lyricism from his work with Gil Evans and filtering it through the minimal approach of his late 60’s work.

It has also been said that it takes two wings to fly. Sanchez’ music here, with its block chords and percussive attack, urges Smith to soar. “Retinal Sand” opens with spitting trumpet notes and the piano’s insides exorcised into a drum kit. The trumpet responds with growling notes and eventually a piano/trumpet conversation. Sanchez displays a willful brawn here, battering a blues line on “Echolocation” that evolves into her piano mimicking the sound of a plucked bass.

Sanchez’ technique is a perfect complement to Smith’s vocalized trumpet. Whether he is playing with a muted horn, as on “Veinular Rub,” or with an open bell for “In The Falls Of…,” his articulations are simply conversational. He and Sanchez are involved in an intimate tête- à-tête. Marvin Gaye’s words sum it up the best, “One can wish upon a star/Two can make that wish come true, yeah/One can stand alone in the dark/Two can make the light shine through.”

Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

CF 287Angelica Sanchez, Wadada Leo Smith: Twine Forest (CF 287)
La pianista Angelica Sanchez ha colaborado durante los últimos años en distintos proyectos y grabaciones del trompetista Wadada Leo Smith: The Golden Quartet y Organic (Heart’s Reflection, Cuneiform, 2011). En 2013, finalmente, Clean Feed publica Twine Forest, primera grabación mano a mano de ambos músicos.

Angelica Sanchez es la autora de los ocho temas. Unas composiciones que son desarrolladas de un modo muy abierto, en las que ambos músicos llevan a cabo un diálogo de igual a igual.

A lo largo de la grabación en un momento son las líneas, cortas, del trompetista, las que son apoyadas en la distancia (espacio y tiempo mediante) por la pianista. En otro momento es el pianista quien sigue el juego a su compañera. En otras ocasiones ambos se enzarzan en un diálogo directo y sin cortapisas, en consistente un toma y daca musical.

Wadada Leo Smith en esta ocasión ni recurre al espíritu sonoro de Miles Davis, ni a la inspiración milesiana que inunda algunos de sus proyectos como Yo Miles! (que por otro lado es toda una declaración de principios ya desde su propio nombre). En esta ocasión se deja llevar por su sonido, transitando sin premura ni precipitación por unos temas que recogen distintos estados de ánimo.

Angelica Sanchez responde perfectamente a las exigencias de su compañero. Al contrario que él, sí que llega a utilizar técnicas extendidas con su instrumento, el piano, con las que logra unos pasajes especialmente intensos y crispados.

A sus casi 72 años (que cumplirá el próximo 18 de diciembre de 2013), Wadada Leo Smith sigue en plena forma en una reluciente segunda juventud. Obras como Twine Forest o como la monumental Ten Freedom Summers (finalista de los Premios Pulitzer en 2013 en la categoría de música), no son un espejismo sino el magnífico reflejo de la manera de entender el jazz y la improvisación por parte de este veterano.