Showing posts with label fusion as it has evolved. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fusion as it has evolved. Show all posts

Friday, December 22, 2017

Wadada Leo Smith, Najwa

Before the year ends I need to cover an album that deserves to rank among the year's best. I refer to Wadada Leo Smith's CD Najwa (TUM CD 049).  It's an electric freedom here. Trust Wadada to do that right. He heads up a really fine all-star lineup: Michael Gregory Jackson, Henry Kaiser, Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith on guitars, Bill Laswell on the electric bass, Pheeroan AkLaff on drums, Adam Rudolph on percussion, and of course Wadada on trumpet.

It's post-Milesian psychedelic avant music done to a turn. This is the Yo Miles idea allowed to blossom out and find its very personal, conclusive-for-now expression. Any of you who might have been skeptical about electric music, the classic Miles sides, and all the other things wonderful that have come out then and since (and I think you were wrong about that) listen to this and think again. For this in a way is a conceptual, compositional and improvisational culmination of all that. But there is still more Miles and Miles to go in this genre. It is by no means a dead creative avenue. Just listen to this one and use your imagination.

It is supremely balanced, elevated freedom music. And again, if you think we do not need freedom, look around. Some people may think they did it and do it "my way." No way to some of those folks. Your way? No, this way, please. Step forward or step aside.

There is a wonderful balance between AkLaff's churning drums, Laswell's smartly solid bass anchoring, the beautiful coloring and punch or the guitars and Wadada's supremely soulful smarts on the trumpet.

You wonder where it is going yet it is already there and moving ahead always. THIS is part of that.

Whoever you are, and I no doubt know many of you personally, I enjoin you to give this music some close and repeated attention. It is forward moving and a joy to hear.