Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers
Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith performing pieces from his work Ten Freedom Summers at London's Cafe Oto.
Ten Freedom Summers is seven hours of music inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. It's less of a suite in the traditional sense, more of a collection of compositions that Smith curates into different groupings according to mood and moment. Rigorously composed, but with plenty of room for free improvisation, pieces like Rosa Parks, Emmet Till and March On Washington provide a starkly dramatic signpost to key events and personalities in the struggle. It's an ambitious work, but one which rewards the listener with passages of extraordinary power and beauty, Smith's trumpet variously evoking the raw energy of the gospel preacher, the cut-glass quality of Miles Davis and the gnomic utterances of Sun Ra.
After first broadcasting part of this performance in January, Jazz on 3 was inundated with requests for more - and this programme completes the set with previously unheard pieces. Smith's Golden Quartet featuring Anthony Davis on piano, John Lindberg on bass and Anthony Brown on drums is accompanied by the strings of the Ligeti Quartet.
Presenter: Jez Nelson
Producer: Miranda Hinkley.
Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet
Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn); Anthony Davis (piano); John Lindberg (bass); Anthony Brown (drums)
Mandhira de Saram (violin); Patrick Dawkins (violin); Richard Jones (viola); Ben Davis (cello)