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Showing posts from May, 2011

Wadada Leo Smith's Organic: Heart's Reflections

The jewel case holding the two discs of Heart’s Reflections from Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic sports a simple cover image of alphabet-like curved gold and black lines on white and red fields. On that is superimposed the title of the record.  On the back is a listing of tracks and performers on a deep brown field where a nearly invisible full circle is also inscribed; its diameter is almost the width of the jewel case.
Open up the case and the visual information explodes. On the left is a stunning full frontal photo of Smith playing his trumpet and on the right is poised the first of the discs on which is printed a reproduction of one of Smith’s scores that shows horizontal bands of bright colors through which flows a line signifying changes. The three page bi-folded liner notes themselves exhibit additional portions of Smith scores and a detailed roster of information, spelling out who solos when in each piece and where they are identifiable in the stereo channel field.  Flip the cd ho…

Matthew Shipp: The Art of the Improviser

The Holy Grail of Credibility

Writing every day religiously is a pattern of existence that I have not established yet. When I do, the writing will come more easily and I won't have such angst about the process. It has been bad enough submitting my words to the people who write for a living to edit; or thinking anyway after the product is spewed out that I do a pretty good job.
When the subject matter of my words is general rather than zeroed in on a specific record or event, the writing is not so full of uncertainty. That is for the reason that no other person can question it.
But when I do write about recordings and concerts and people, even, then, I go on record with my statements and they are read by those who seek "veritas."
Back in 2004 or so, I had been practicing being a serious scribe about creative improvised music for several years. I had earned the label "critic" from those who did not write about the music I followed. I was looked upon as a vehicle for publicity by those who put on…