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What We Live: Trumpets

What We Live, with bass player Lisle Ellis and drummer Donald Robinson, has worked its way into the top ranks of free jazz and improvised music ensembles with four strong previous albums. Trumpets is the second to present Wadada Leo Smith and Dave Douglas as guest artists; but unlike Quintet for a Day (New World Counter Currents), on which both trumpeters performed on all tracks, Trumpets combines two sessions, each featuring one horn player. The less crowded bandstands yield more satisfying results, as Ellis and Robinson, one of the best bass-drums tag teams on the scene, are more prominent in these wide-open exchanges. Smith and Douglas benefit as well, as their respective nuance-filled styles are more fully explicated with the keenly responsive Ochs as their single front-line foil.

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