Wadada Leo Smith

Condor, Autumn Wind

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As the '90s drew to a close, Wadada Leo Smith was still out there performing solo concerts, although not with the kind of elaborate percussion set-up that marked his solo activity in the '70s. Still a genius in his control of silence and space, Smith has a fatter trumpet sound than ever. He makes the most out of the passages when he decides to let rip, then brings the audience down to sounds at the level of water dripping. An intentionally ear-shattering piece on some kind of loud siren shows his willingness to confront the audience, while the many passages of quiet invention and the gently spoken poetry of Harumi Smith assure us that the pat on the back we deserve is also ours for the taking.

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