An incredibly ambitious work from trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith
– an extended piece that's dedicated to the national park system in America, but which is also almost a musical "conversation" with that system too – one that seeks to expand and transform the landscape through a variety of different musical themes! Smith
isn't just hugging trees at Yellowstone and Yosemite – and instead, passages of the work are influenced by New Orleans, the Mississippi River, and the work of Eileen Jackson Southern – influences that take the whole proceedings far past the familiar, and into the rich sonic territory we've come to expect from Wadada
. Yet the sound here is maybe even more richly textured than on any of Smith
's recent recordings – with plenty of dark tones and shapes delivered by the Golden Quintet lineup that includes Anthony Davis on piano, Ashley Walters on cello, John Lindberg on bass, and Pheeroan Aklaff on drums. Titles include "New Orleans The National Culture Park 1718", "Yellowstone The First National Park & The Spirit Of America", "Sequioa Kings Canyon National Park", "Eileen Jackson Southern 1920 to 2002 – A Literary National Park", and "Yosemite – The Glaciers, The Falls, The Wells, & The Valley Of Goodwill 1890".