Recent Listening: W.L. Smith, Tébar, QSF

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet, Spiritual-Dimensions (Cuneiform). The exploratory trumpeter follows up last year's triumphal Tabligh with a reshuffled quartet and goes himself one better by adding an excursion into electronic territory. The first CD again has Vijay Iyer at the piano and synthesizer and John Lindberg on bass, but in place of drummer Shannon Jackson Smith uses two bulwarks of avant garde percussion, Pheeroan AkLaff and Don Moye. The double drum contingent produces moments of … [Read more...]

Take Eighty-Five

If Paul Desmond had lived, he would be 85 years old today. The last birthday he celebrated fell on Thanksgiving, 1976. For the occasion, Devra Hall cooked a turkey dinner for Desmond and her parents, Jim and Jane. She took the photograph that afternoon. Here's the story of the end of that part of the day, told by Devra in Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. "It was a very quiet dinner. Paul was not feeling well, but he was clearly happy not to be home alone. He didn't have … [Read more...]