The Great Lakes Suites, a deceptively subtle harmonic force. Sonic fury. Stellar!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Composer and trumpet virtuoso Wadada Leo Smith presents six extended works inspired by the Great Lakes. A new release also brings a new and highly formidable 4tet with an all star cast of co-conspirators that have lived in and around this area of the country. The ensemble is rounded out with the incredibly under appreciated Henry Threadgill on saxophone and flute, first call bassist John Lindberg and NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette.
A uniquely conceptual release with the intention of creating an almost ambient quality of not only the lengthy geographic development and stillness of the water but the ability for this wonder of nature to become turbulent at a moments notice. This is where the release fly's as high as Smith's trumpet. There is an almost three dimensional sonic depth of field. A open-ended spatial approach that while incredibly cerebral in composition, touches the visceral soul as well.
This is not an impressionistic piece as some might expect but a full rich presentation of lyrical flow and the myriad of possibilities that lie within. The collective transcends the stereotypical of improvisational music and moves toward the spiritual in exploring their sound. An absolutely stunning work!
Tracks: Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair.