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December 1998

Wadada Leo Smith/Harumi Makino Smith
Condor, Autumn Wind
Wobbly Rail

Condor, Autumn Wind, recorded live in Durham, shows the potential of the emerging Mid-Atlantic concert circuit for avant garde jazz and improvised music. A lot of improvisers talk vaguely about creating a space in which the music can be spawned and received, but Wadada Leo Smith pursues and achieves this goal with an unique, focused discipline on the mostly solo Condor, Autumn Wind. Throughout the program, Smith's trumpet solos have an episodic quality, where the overall shape of the piece is altered with each boldly shaped phrase. At strategic points in the program, he complements his palette with voice, mbira, percussion, wood flute, and bike horn-like seal-horn. On three pieces, Harumi Makino Smith's poetry (read both in English and Japanese) provides an evocative counterpoint. In all, Condor, Autumn Wind is a winding journey with many intriguing stops.

Originally published in December 1998
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