Wadada Leo Smith

Song of Humanity (Kanta Pri Homoro)

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AllMusic Review by

A double-CD would have been more the medium to capture the full possibilities of this group, New Dalta Ahkri, a working band for several years which even drove all the way from New Haven to Calgary, Alberta, without a stop for a series of gigs. This, the one existing album of this group, suffers from a syndrome of the time being too short to allow stretching out if it is to include a few different styles of compositions by each writing member of the group, which, in this case, included not only Smith but pianist Anthony Davis. Alto saxophonist/flautist Oliver Lake is also a fine composer, but none of his pieces are included here. The too-short cuts and sometimes awkward sequencing makes for a bumpy ride, as opposed to the wonderful trip it was to sit back and listen to two full sets of New Dalta Ahkri letting loose with no time restraints. Still, the essence of what made this a great band is here. Smith and Lake are a great horn team, each complimenting the other. Smith has the lyricism and vivid melodic gift while Lake has a tone that sounds like he is ripping your clothes off with his teeth. And it is a great rhythm section. Davis was already playing like a seasoned veteran, and drummer Paul Maddox keeps things from ever getting too mellow.

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