Wadada Leo Smith: Heart's Reflections

Album review
Wadada Leo Smith: Heart's Reflections

Wadada Leo Smith

Heart's Reflections

Label: Cuneiform
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

If you’ve been complaining that music has lost its epic sweep, boy have I got an album for you. Everything about this two-CD set is big—the 14-piece band, the song lengths, even the song titles. Stylistically these musical suites wander all over the map but continually lock back into funk grooves that call to mind electric Miles and Ornette’s Prime Time, with passages that can be simultaneously dense, chaotic, and danceable. What’s particularly appealing about Heart’s Reflections is the use of contrast: lyrical quiet sections gain power when set off against hi-voltage vamps, a strategy that’s particularly effective during the last movement of a song that fills an entire CD. Itself a 22:29 opus, “Leroy Jenkins’ Air Steps” explores free jazz terrain until introducing, six minutes into the piece, a righteous set of piano chords that launch increasingly impassioned solos each time it resurfaces. The top-notch personnel on Heart’s Reflections includes names you may recall from the days when the downtown scene was thriving, guitarist Michael Gregory, bassist John Lindberg, and drummer Pheeroan akLaff among them. Although this recording will show up in jazz bins, the scope of the music is so broad that everyone from Eno to Prince fans should give a listen. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Wadada Leo Smith
  • CD

Search Music

Featured Music