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Heart's Reflections

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iTunes Review

The composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has been in marching bands and blues groups, played cutting-edge free jazz (he’s a founding member of Chicago’s AACM), incorporated reggae into his work, jammed out with scorching jazz-rock units, and written lovely chamber music. In 2011 he released Heart’s Reflections, a double-CD recorded with his group Organic, a large ensemble that includes four electric guitarists and two laptop players. The opening track, “Don Cherr’y Electric Sonic Garden,” finds the group working in electric Miles Davis mode. (Smith also has a project with guitarist Henry Kaiser, Yo Miles!, that pays tribute to Davis’ electric period.) By contrast, “Spiritual Wayfarers,” one section of the piece, “Heart’s Reflections: Splendors of Light and Purification,” features Smith’s trumpet backed by a web of atonal bass, guitar, and piano. Another section, “Silsila,” features amazing drumming from Pheeroan akLaff. The 22-minute closer, “Leroy Jenkin’s Air Steps,” is dedicated to the late violinist. It’s a bracing, high-energy tour de force that morphs several times.

Heart's Reflections, Wadada Leo Smith's Organic
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  • $15.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 17, 2011

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