Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers

Ten Freedom Summers, the new album of trumpeter, composer and improviser Wadada Leo Smith, is a story of different facets of the human rights movement in America between 1954 and 1964.

The 4CD box set with 19 compositions dating from the last 34 years was published by Cuneiform Records. The 70 year old author says about the new release that “it is one of my life’s defining works”.

“The music honors heroes and events in a transformative process of political and cultural liberation, a process that not only shaped all aspects of Smith’s life and art, but all of America as well”, according to a press release.

He recorded this album with members of his Smith’s Golden Quinteta, an ensemble made of pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummers Susie Ibarra and Pheeroan akLaff, and with members of the ensemble Southwest Chamber Music under the conduction of Grammy winner Jeff von der Schmidt.

The album was recorded live last year at the Los Angeles’ Redcat club, a multimedia venue belonging to the California Institute of the Arts where Smith teaches.

We enjoyed Wadada Leo Smith’s music in 2004 when he performed in duet with Ikue Mori at 8th Jazz Fest Sarajevo. Here is his duet with drummer Ed Blackwell.

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