Wadada Leo Smith:
Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk (TUM)
Wadada Leo Smith’s solo trumpet tribute to Thelonious Monk evokes two points of reference. First is Monk’s 1957 solo-piano masterpiece, Thelonious Himself, the album that did more to demonstrate the elasticity of time than Einstein and Hawking combined. Like the pianist did on that album, Smith, on Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk, juxtaposes his own originals with standards (in his case Monk staples), without timekeeping. But Smith doesn’t have harmony to structure his work, either; it’s all melody and whim.