Wadada Leo Smith
Jack Dejohnette

tzadik 7628
may 2009 - 53:12

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Jack DeJohnette: Drums
Wadada Leo Smith: Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Exuding a primordial timelessness reminiscent of an extended ritual invocation, their empathetic dialog surpasses contemporary trends and stylistic precedents. Their interplay is measured and precise, neither overwrought nor timid, lending America an air of regal austerity—the sound of two masters engaged in an intimate musical conversation.
- Troy Collins,

Two creative music legends who share a remarkable spiritual connection in their first duo outing. Originally proposed to ECM in 1979 and rejected, this rare musical treasure is a project that has been brewing for thirty years. Featuring six new compositions by one of the most consistently brilliant composer/performers out of the legendary AACM, and telepathic interplay by two virtuoso instrumentalists who have been pushing the musical envelope since the 1960s, Red Trumpet is one of the highlights of this or any other year. Recorded at Bill Laswell's New Jersey studio, the sound is impeccable and the music incendiary.

r e v i e w s

Originally proposed to ECM Records in 1979, the collaboration of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and drummer Jack DeJohnette has finally found new life in America. Recorded last year in Bill Laswell's New Jersey studio (but without his heavy-handed production aesthetic), this unadorned acoustic session documents two of the world's most versatile and virtuosic improvisers working through a set of six new compositions written by Smith.
- Troy Collins, read full review: (pdf)

This collaboration by two veteran players was pitched to ECM records in 1976 but turned down, so thanks to Tzadik for finally recording it and letting it out of the gate.
- Jeph Jerman, read full review: (pdf)

This is an austere but fascinating record with the music built architecturally to logical conclusions. Both Smith and DeJohnette are clearly masters of their respective instruments, but neither tries to overwhelm the other on sheer skill. Rather it is a true collaboration that at times reaches a near zen level of enchantent like meditation like a deep, clear pool of music.
- Tim Niland, jazz and blues blogspot read full review: (pdf)

Great musicians, great interplay, great ideas, great expressivity, great creativity. Deep and panoramic. An absolute "must have" for anyone interested in music. Full stop.
- Stef Gijsells, free jazz blogspot read full review: (pdf)

Smith and DeJohnette are highly individual voices, unique and immediately recognizable on their respective instruments and endlessly creative and inventive, and throughout this album they explore melody, rhythm, and pure sound in a symbiotic duet that's some of the best music either man has made.
- Phil Freeman, All Music Guide read full review: (pdf)

a u d i o   s a m p l e s

1. America parts 1, 2, 3

2. Red Trumpet

3. John Brown's Fort

4. Ed Blackwell, The Blue Mountain Sun Drummer

5. Rabi'a's Unconditional Love, A Spiritual Mystery of the Heart

6. The Masnavi: The Falcon and the Owls

© 1997-2009 Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith