Sunday, 1 June, 2008

Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis: The Caravans of Winter & Summer (2002)

A relentless musical innovator since his early days in the Chicago AACM, Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most consistently creative composer/performers in new music.
In his sixth Tzadik release he once again explores new territory, bringing six absolute masters of live electronics together to perform some of Wadada's most adventurous and colorful compositions. Including a large, sprawling work for four laptops and trumpet, and two dynamic duets with legendary laptop pioneer Ikue Mori, Luminous Axis is one of Wadada's most exciting and dynamic recordings.

"I'm no big booster of the laptop as the axe for our time — too much grey hissing — but on the remarkable Luminous Axis, Smith effectively squares off against four California computer jocks (including the very musical Tim Perkis), and plays duets with Ikue Mori, also on electronics. Where, say, Evan Parker or Axel Dörner on their electro-acoustic stuff blur the line between one and the other (albeit in different ways), Smith respects the autonomy of both worlds; his trumpet is a trumpet, singing brass and breath not noise-generator, and it occupies its own musical space. Ditto William Winant's kettle drums in the bass range, helping to inspire a rhythmic hubbub you might trace back through '70s Miles all the way to rainforest drum choirs. But then Smith sees them all as part of an ongoing continuum of black creativity."

in Wadada Leo Smith: Space Man Visits Many Worlds
by Kevin Whitehead

Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet and fugelhorn with electronics
Ikue Mori: computer-driven electronics
Chris Brown: computer-driven electronics
Mark Trayle: computer-driven electronics
Tim Perkis: computer-driven electronics
John Bischoff: computer-driven electronics
William Winant: percussion

Luminous Axis - The Caravans of Winter and Summer (2002)

1. Garden Of The Heart 5:19
2. Perfect Essence 0:33
3. Radiant Light Gushing From The Sun 2:37
4. Night Splendor, A Certain Moon Flow 1:27
5. Tango 0:46
6. Beauty 0:18
7. Fountain (immortality) 4:30
8. Garden Of The Soul 3:52
9. Apples, Dates And Pomegranates 1:29
10. Light, Ginger, Olives And Musk 2:36
11. Harp: A Gleaming Sama 2:20
12. Fountain (lore) 5:10
13. Camphor 3:53
14. Caravans Of Winter And Summer 15:16
15. The Traveler 4:58