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Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers

Jez Nelson presents trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and his Golden Quartet performing pieces from his work Ten Freedom Summers at London's Cafe Oto.

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.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Wadada Leo Smith reflects on Ten Freedom Summers

  • Wadada Leo Smith recorded at Cafe Oto, London on 22 November 2013

    • Wadada Leo Smith

      Rosa Parks

      Composer: Wadada Leo Smith

    • Wadada Leo Smith

      Black Church

      Composer: Wadada Leo Smith

    • Wadada Leo Smith

      String Quartet Number 4

      Composer: Wadada Leo Smith

    • Wadada Leo Smith

      March On Washington

      Composer: Wadada Leo Smith

    • Wadada Leo Smith

      Emmett Till

      Composer: Wadada Leo Smith

Line Up

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet
Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn); Anthony Davis (piano); John Lindberg (bass); Anthony Brown (drums)

Ligeti Quartet
Mandhira de Saram (violin); Patrick Dawkins (violin); Richard Jones (viola); Ben Davis (cello)


 

Broadcast

Jazz Now

Jazz Now

The new home of contemporary jazz on BBC Radio 3