From 1971–1979 Wadada Leo Smith released four albums on his own, privately pressed label Kabell. Under the supervision of the composer, this material has now been collected, remastered and coupled with over two hours of unreleased bonus tracks, including the second set of the influential Reflectativity concert and the legendary Mapenzi solo concert from 1976.
This new version of Wadada Leo Smith's classic Reflectativity from 1972 – now a memorial for Duke Ellington – shows his compositional strengths as fully developed, even at that time. Yet, in this piece, he reworks his own notation to open up his lyrical side over his improvisational dimension. His unusual notation – which resembles Anthony Braxton's of the period and later – was actually a system being worked out over the range of multi-tonalities and improvisational possibilities within the erected framework. ~ AllMusic
Wadada Leo Smith has been a leading proponent of the creation of a new world music since the late '60s, in confluence with Chicago's AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). Much like Don Cherry, Smith draws from a broad palate of world musics, and he's a musical pioneer of the highest order.
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.