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Jazz → Heart's Reflections  

Heart's Reflections

Artist: Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith - Heart's Reflections CD
Label: Cuneiform
Regular Price: $20.95
On Sale For: $10.48 
Year: 2011
Format: CD

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A very special 2-disc set!

“Organic’s music is a swirling roar, part fusion and part jazz rock orchestra, like a combination of Burnt Sugar and Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats Ensemble.” – The Wire, February 2010 cover story

"Organic’s music is powerfully electric and electronic in nature; fiery and interactive in character; contemporary, spiritual and politically conscious, its creative energy is heartfelt and connected with the human feeling." – Wadada Leo Smith

Although he made his reputation over decades and decades of work in the free jazz and improvised music realm and as a early member of Chicago's hugely influencial AACM (the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music), trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has long been interested in larger ensembles and electric music as well. Heart’s Reflections is a bold double-disc set that features Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, a predominately electric, fourteen-piece group, a band most notable for a lineup marked by four guitarists. In addition to Smith, who plays both acoustic and electric trumpet, the extraordinary lineup on Heart’s Reflection includes: Brandon Ross, Michael Gregory, Lamar Smith, and Josh Gerowitz on guitar; Skuli Sverrisson and John Lindberg on bass; Angelica Sanchez on acoustic and electric piano; Stephanie Smith on violin; Casey Anderson on alto saxophone; Casey Butler on tenor saxophone; Mark Trayle and Charlie Burgin on laptops; and Pheeroan AkLaff on drums.

For a record by such a large group, at times the sound is surprisingly sparse and delicate - both qualities that have long marked Smith's work, while at other times, it sizzles and stomps! Though longtime listeners who haven't followed Wadada's work in the last decade might be surprised at times by the fierceness of Organic’s rhythm section, Heart’s Reflections is nonetheless marked by the trumpeter’s usual touchstones: long sustained notes, occasional clipped phrases, and a tough-to-define playfulness that infuses all of his work.

Coming across like the next evolutionary step after Miles Davis’ electric era, Heart’s Reflections is a vibrant set that harkens back to the blues influence of Smith’s Mississippi childhood, and looks forward to still-developing realms of noise and electronics. The album fuses a galaxy of influences into a natural and accessible form, offering an ideal entry point into Smith’s vast oeuvre. Heart’s Reflections should appeal to fans of groove-oriented jazz, as well as rock and electronics audiences with a taste for adventure.

Spiritual Dimensions is a double album that features two very special groups, both filled with truly great and legendary musicians! Both discs were recorded live to capture the energy and spirit that Smith's shows have.

The easiest comparison between the albums can be drawn by listening to the two different versions of the composition South Central L.A. Kulture, which appears at the last track by the Golden Quintet and as the first track by Organic; its inclusion here in two versions is a good example of how Smith’s compositions can mutate to embrace new settings.

"...a welcome reminder of Smith's continued importance in the continuum of creative improvised music." – All About Jazz

"...not only as inventive and adventurous as he was when he was a younger player, but his creativity and ability to direct a band into new territory is actually farther reaching than ever before. This is brilliant work." – All Music Guide
ARTISTS
Disc One:
Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet
Vijay Iyer – piano, synthesizer
John Lindberg – bass
Pheeroan AkLaff – drums
Don Moye – drums

Disc Two:
Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet
Nels Cline – guitar
Michael Gregory – guitar
Brandon Ross – guitar
Lamar Smith – guitar
Okkyung Lee – cello
John Lindberg – double bass
Skuli Sverrisson – electric bass
Pheeroan AkLaff – drums

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