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Wadada Leo Smith and Adam Rudolph: Compassion

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Ages before reductionist improvisation morphed into a contest to see who could say the least within the longest possible span of time and in the most unmusical way possible, trumpeter/flugelhornist Wadada Leo Smith developed a style built on economy and variable timbre-a style that, while novel, nevertheless embraced essential qualities that distinguish music from random futzing.

Compassion is not reductionist. Smith’s approach is too direct and organically conceived to be defined so narrowly. But this music does demonstrate how one can explore open space and extremes in tonal color without contrivance.

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