Condor, Autumn Wind

Wobbly Rail WOB-001

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Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet, seal horn, mbira, and voice

Harumi Makino Smith - poetry, voice

(For Dizzy Gillespie)

In a full blue sky on its back
A condor is flying down towards me,
I can see the sky closer.

Its wings widely spread-out in front of me,
This moment the condor was
Picking my flesh and,
It brought me closer to the ravine of space and time.

It's dark and deep, the place has no stars
Let me take a ritual hint to forget all fears.

While hearing the sounds exposing your wing
In the breeze, I was born into the ground.
Sky was simply too for to reach,
I made my first cry with sadness

(© 1998 Harumi Makino Smith / Kiom Music)

(© 1998 Harumi Makino Smith / Kiom Music

p r e s s   r e v i e w s

Condor, Autumn Wind was recorded in concert, this time in Durham, North Carolina. Basically a duet between the Smiths (Leo on trumpet, seal horn, mbira, and voice, Harumi performing the poetry), it develops into an intimate and personal session...Smith's playing is intense and hard-edged, totally focused, never discursive

Barry Witherden, The Wire [UK]

On Condor, Smith honors African and Mississippi blues roots with a thumb-piano rendition of Skip James' "Special Rider Blues." Elsewhere he performs spacious, abstract pieces on trumpet and flute, alone and accompanying Harumi Makino Smith's elegiac poetry.

Bill Meyer, Magnet

Condor, Autumn Wind, recorded live in Durham, shows the potential of the emerging Mid-Atlantic concert circuit for avant garde jazz and improvised music. A lot of improvisers talk vaguely about creating a space in which the music can be spawned and received, but Wadada Leo Smith pursues and achieves this goal with an unique, focused discipline on the mostly solo Condor, Autumn Wind. Throughout the program, Smith's trumpet solos have an episodic quality, where the overall shape of the piece is altered with each boldly shaped phrase. At strategic points in the program, he complements his palette with voice, mbira, percussion, wood flute, and bike horn-like seal-horn. On three pieces, Harumi Makino Smith's poetry (read both in English and Japanese) provides an evocative counterpoint. In all, Condor, Autumn Wind is a winding journey with many intriguing stops.

Bill Shoemaker, JazzTimes

a u d i o   s a m p l e s

click links below for mp3 Clips

1. Hummingbirds Harvesting Nectar From The Birds of Paradise Plants

2. East: Illumination: Eagle: Yellow

3. Emmeya

4. Special Rider Blues (for Kashala)

5. Sonicboltz Wave

6. Condor (for Dizzy Gillespie) (Poetry and Trumpet)

7. Sunrise and Moonbows (for Marion Brown)

8. Shah Ni'matullah Wall

9. Song of Humanity

10. Albert Ayler

© 1997-2011 Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith