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Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet: Tabligh

Wadada Leo Smith reconfigured his Golden Quartet after the death of bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, and in November 2005 the new lineup headlined the California Institute of the Arts’ Creative Music Festival. The concert was recorded, and it arrives on CD as Tabligh.

To say the new lineup is powerful would be a huge understatement. Smith elicits a symphony of sounds from his trumpet. Pianist Vijay Iyer seems more caffeinated than usual, even when he plays the Fender Rhodes electric piano. Bassist John Lindberg thumps and plucks so hard that he threatens to pop the woofers. Shannon Jackson-perhaps jazz’s most bombastic percussionist, what with Last Exit and Power Tools on his résumé-beats his kit so feverishly that the drums must have nearly toppled from their stands.

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