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Wadada Leo Smith: Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet

So-called supergroups that form for one-off albums are rarely super and seldom equal the sum of their parts. For trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s two latest albums, he was able to assemble a dream group without suffering from ego clash.

Never have the under-appreciated trumpeter’s ideas been so wonderfully executed than on these two quite different discs, featuring primarily the same musicians. The talents of pianist Anthony Davis, Art Ensemble of Chicago bassist Malachi Favors Magoustous and drummer Jack DeJohnette masterfully augment Smith’s poignant playing; they give Smith’s music the skilled and able embellishment lacking in his solo and past group work.

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