One of the most important records from Wadada Leo Smith
in years – an extended set of compositions that offer reflections on and reactions to the Civil Rights era in America! The work here stretches back to the 70s – as some of the tracks were penned by Smith
many years ago, but have been brought together, and woven in with more recent music to form a rich tapestry in sound – one that's performed partly by Smith
's Golden Quartet/
Quintet – and partly by the Southwest Chamber Music ensemble! The sound is stunning – some of the richest, most expressive material we've ever heard from Leo
– and the core group features Smith
on trumpet, Anthony Davis on piano, John Lindberg on bass, and both Pheeroan Aklaff and Susie Ibarra on drums – while the Southwest group brings in added chamber instrumentation on strings and clarinet. Aklaff plays a few striking solo percussion numbers – and titles include "The Freedom Riders Ride", "The Little Rock Nine", "John F Kennedy's New Frontier & The Space Age", "Black Church", "Rosa Parks & The Montgomery Bus Boycott", "Democracy", and "Medgar Evers A Love Voice Of A Thousand Years' Journey".