Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Ed Palermo Big Band announces Concert Dates supporting their new double-the-fun album, 'Oh No! Not Jazz!!'

The Ed Palermo Big Band announces Concert Dates
supporting their new double-the-fun album,
Oh No! Not Jazz!!
- one of 2014's Most! Shockingly!! Great!!! jazz LARGE ensemble releases -





THE ED PALERMO BIG BAND's OH NO! NOT JAZZ!!:
Listen to "Why Is the Doctor Barking?" (mp3 download)



On the Double-Album, Oh No! Not Jazz!!, Ed Palermo and His 18-Piece Big Band/Large Ensemble Dare to Pair Frank Zappa’s Compositions with the First Collection of Palermo Originals in over 25 Years

scroll down to read more about it 


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THE ED PALERMO BIG BAND'S CONCERT DATES 2014:

“…my bandmembers are the greatest and most “loyal to the cause” musicians I could ever hope for. …. This album is dedicated to my band. Thanks, folks!”
- Ed Palermo, liner notes to Oh No! Not Jazz!!


July 31, 2014 | Sellersville, PA
Sellersville Theater - 24 West Temple Ave - Sellersville, PA
PREVIEW/ARTICLE: "Frank Zappa disciple Palermo brings big band to Sellersville" by Fern Brodkin, The Mercury

August 2, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

August 29, 2014 | New York, NY
Iridium - 1650 Broadway - New York, NY 10019 (212) 582-2121 (Ed & band perform Zodd Zundgren, a mash-up concert of Todd Rundgren's and Frank Zappa's music)

August 30, 2014 | New York, NY
Iridium - 1650 Broadway - New York, NY 10019 (212) 582-2121 (Ed & band perform Zodd Zundgren, a mash-up concert of Todd Rundgren's and Frank Zappa's music)

October 4, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

December 20, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

Don't miss YOUR chance to see The Ed Palermo Big Band LIVE!!


“It’s gonna be a blast” - Ed Palermo.

"Palermo and his assembly of 18 wayward sons and daughters prove they’ve mastered all the quirky complexities of the master’s music. ... Outside the mad world of mutant Gypsy industrial vacuum cleaners and penguins in bondage, Palermo presents...original compositions. All eight, plus non-original swing-fest “Moosh,” are triumphs of serious-minded orchestral jazz... [4 STARS]" 
 - Frank-John Hadley, DownBeat, May 2014

“Like Zappa, and Duke Ellington before, Palermo’s main instrument is his band. And with him at the helm is manages to capture perfectly the spirit of Zappa’s music while stamping its own authority on the adventurous arrangements with its exuberant, joyous ensemble playing and in the quality of the solos. Ed Palermo, with impeccable olfactory taste, has done both big band jazz and Zappa’s music a huge service. If you didn’t like big band jazz before, then the riotous, swinging celebration…may well be the record that converts you. If you didn’t get Frank Zappa’s music, then this record may make you consider his vast musical legacy in a whole new light.” - Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

“Zappa once famously said “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny.” Ed Palermo is making one hell of a wonderful stink.”
- Daniel Spicer, Pop Matters

"Seriously recommended." - Michael Verity, About.com Jazz

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OH NO! NOT JAZZ!! PRESS RELEASE


On the Double-Album, Oh No! Not Jazz!!, Ed Palermo and His 18-Piece Big Band/Large Ensemble Dare to Pair Frank Zappa’s Compositions with the First Collection of Palermo Originals in over 25 Years
Release Date: 2/4/2014 - Genre: Jazz / Big Band - Format: 2xCD / Digital Download

Long revered and celebrated for his insistently inventive jazz arrangements of Frank Zappa compositions, New Jersey saxophonist/composer/arranger Ed Palermo returns with his fourth album featuring his big band playing his jaw-dropping, brain-busting, and wildly antic charts.  Oh No! Not Jazz!! is the Ed Palermo Big Band’s third project for Cuneiform, but this time Palermo is offering his own jazz vision along side Zappa’s music. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition, with Palermo’s talent-laden 18-piece orchestra digging into his originals, which stand up effectively next to his arrangements of Zappa’s ingenious songbook.

With titles like “Let’s Reproduce,” “Nostalgia Revisited,” and “Prelude To An Insult,” Palermo’s compositions seem to be muscling in on Zappa’s wry, absurdist sensibility. But it’s more that Zappa shaped his sense of humor (i.e. bent his young mind) than his compositional vision, as Palermo’s charts swing fiercely and owe far more to Thad Jones and Mel Lewis than the Mothers of Invention.

“There is a lot of humor, and I probably got a lot of that from Zappa,” Palermo notes, while also claiming his deep jazz roots. “When you hear me play saxophone my heroes are Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley.”

Palermo’s big band has been dedicated to Zappa’s music for more than two decades, and no ensemble has done more to focus attention on Zappa’s tremendous body of work as a composer. Stocked with top-shelf New York players, the orchestra features incisive improvisers such as trombonist Joe Fielder, violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, and the supremely versatile drummer Ray Marchica. Palermo’s latest contribution to Zappaology opens with the epic “Inca Roads,” featuring Bruce McDaniel’s searing guitar work and special guest Napoleon Murphy Brock on callisthenic vocals. Navigating the quickly shifting time signatures with its usual aplomb, the band sounds as sharp as ever.

Palermo gleaned “The Uncle Meat Variations” and “The Dog Breath Variations” from The Mothers of Invention’s 1969 experimental masterwork Uncle Meat, gracefully rendering the cinematic breadth, vivid tonal palette, and unapologetic beauty of Zappa’s vision. He’s equally masterly when it comes to capturing Zappa’s sheer swaggering joie de vivre, as on the rampaging arrangement of “Lumpy Gravy,” which fades up in the midst of the action just as trumpeter Ronnie Buttacavoli launches into a growling, smearing, plunger mute solo. The first disc closes, appropriately enough, with “America Drinks And Goes Home,” a tune that features the impressive vocals and hilarious commentary by Mike James, who sounds uncannily like Frank Sinatra crossed with Mark Murphy.

James briefly reappears on the opening track of the second disc to advise listeners “Hold on to your skirt there, sweetheart, this ought to be one swinging affair.” However you’re attired, he speaks the truth, as Palermo’s original compositions and arrangements swing with authority. The opener, “Moosh,” moves through several distinct phases, culminating in an insouciant alto solo by Palermo and a sizzling violin statement by Katie Jacoby. Despite its pugnacious title, “Prelude to An Insult” sounds more jaunty than peeved, with the dark rumbling tone of Barbara Cifelli’s bari saxophone providing a lovely contrast to Palermo’s liquid alto.

John Palermo’s elegant, folky mandolin sounds decidedly unthreatening on the brief “Prelude to a Catastrophe,” which ushers in the jittery, anxiously swelling “A Catastrophe (Is Just Around the Corner),” and Ben Kono’s superbly inquisitive tenor solo. Palermo is at his most inventive on “Let’s Reproduce,” a wily tune that oozes suggestively rather than bumping and grinding. He shows off his sensitive side with the lithe melody “Nostalgia Revisited,” a lovely piece that avoids sentimentality. The longest Palermo original, “The Insult,” feels like a forgotten page from the Mingus songbook, with all the roiling emotion, lush romanticism and surfeit of musical ideas one would expect.

While Zappa doesn’t cast much of a shadow over Palermo’s writing, his influence is unmistakable on the antic “Why Is the Doctor Barking?” a tune that begs for a Warner Bros. cartoon, and that features some space age keyboard work by Ted Kooshian. The album closes with an extended goodbye “Good Night, Everybody! God Loves Ya!,” starting with another hilarious turn by the put-upon vocalist Mike James, who tries to get a word in edgewise amidst the horn solos. A brief Ellingtonian take on the Beatles“She’s So Heavy” closes out the session (or does it?).


[Photo of Ed Palermo by Bert Saraco.]

Palermo’s passion for Frank Zappa music predates his interest in jazz. Indeed, he credits Zappa with opening his mind up to the harmonic vistas of John Coltrane. Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, Palermo grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and followed his growing interest in Zappa straight to modern jazz.

“I was particularly interested in Zappa on a compositional level,” Palermo says. “‘King Kong’ was one of my favorite songs from the 9th grade on and that helped me get into John Coltrane's modal period.”

Not exactly obsessed with practicing, he caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Edgar Winter, Woods and Adderley. Before he graduated he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians he answered New York’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.

An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for multiple horns, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette. “I got a lot of my questions answered,” Palermo says, and I’ll love them forever. Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”

Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for the Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddy Fischer, Melissa Walker, and a concert by James Brown at the Hollywood Bowl.

Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before Zappa’s death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of 12 Zappa tunes. When the time came to debut the material at one of the band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd greeted the band.

“The Internet was just becoming powerful, and word really got around,” Palermo says. “We were used to paying small audiences, and the place was packed. There were people who had driven down from Canada, and up from West Virginia who didn’t have a clue who I was, but they wanted to hear Zappa’s music. It was an amazing night.”

The Ed Palermo Big Band earned international attention with its 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, 
Dave Samuels,
 Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for Zappa jazz concept.

He followed up in 2006 with Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, the band’s Cuneiform debut. Once again, the band received enviable reviews, with Paradoxone.uk declaring the album “Wonderful, breathtaking, fantastic, exhilarating, great sound, great production, great musicianship...I run out of superlatives.”

With 2009’s Eddy Love Frank, the project continued to bear luscious fruit. Exploring Palermo’s ever evolving and expanding book of Zappa compositions, the band continues to play with verve and consummate musicianship, a testament to the music’s stimulating allure. As Jazz Times noted, “Palermo’s arrangements and these performances are precise, dedicated, raucous and incisive—just like Zappa himself.”

At this point, the Palermo Big Band has honed some 300 Zappa arrangements, including six separate and distinct charts for “King Kong.” With a steady cast of dedicated players, many of whom have been in the band for more than a decade, Palermo has created a singular institution that seems to effortlessly bridge the worlds of jazz, art rock and classical music. As Oh No! Not Jazz!! makes perfectly clear, there’s no danger that the deep well of Zappa’s music is going to run out of creative juice any time soon.

LISTEN //
If you'd like to share music from this release with your friends/readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Why Is the Doctor Barking?"
(mp3 download) - STREAM: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

PURCHASE LINKS
//
AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC - ITUNES (Disc 2 of Palermo album only)

ED PALERMO BIG BAND ONLINE //
Ed Palermo Big band @ Cuneiformrecords.com - www.palermobigband.com - www.facebook.com/palermobigband

PHOTOS of The Ed Palermo Big Band by photographer Bert Saraco
------ -

OTHER ED PALERMO BIG BAND ALBUMS ON CUNEIFORM




The Ed Palermo Big Band
Eddy Loves Frank



The Ed Palermo Big Band
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Track listing:
1. Night School (6:03)
2. Echidna's Arf (Of You) (9:49)
3. Regyptian Strut (6:56)
4. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing? (6:20)
5. Dupree's Paradise (5:43)
6. What's New in Baltimore (6:04)
7. Let's Move to Cleveland (6:30)
8. America the Beautiful (5:28)

Track listing:
1. RDNZL (8:52)
2. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (6:23)
3. Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula (6:07)
4. Pound For A Brown On The Bus (6:02)
5. Sleep Dirt (5:34)
6. Gumbo Variations (5:55)
7. Mom And Dad/Oh No (9:10)
8. Moggio (5:34)





Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[STREAM] Wadada Leo Smith's "Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and the Civil Rights Act of 1964" in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT of 1964

In celebration of the
50th Anniversary of the
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT Of 1964

- signed into law July 2, 1964
by President Lyndon B. Johnson -
Cuneiform Records is streaming for ONE WEEK ONLY
beginning July 2, 2014 

Pulitzer Prize in Music Finalist
WADADA LEO SMITH's
"Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and the Civil Rights Act of 1964"
in its entirety (24 min) 
 from
Smith’s Civil Rights Masterpiece
TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS
released by Cuneiform Records




STREAM via SOUNDCLOUD or BANDCAMP 
from July 2, 2014 to July 9, 2014, CLICK a link below:








Wadada Leo Smith
Ten Freedom Summers

Genre: Jazz / Classical / Creative Music
Format: 4-CD Box Set / Digital Download
Release Date: May 22, 2012

PURCHASE LINKSAMAZON | ITUNES | BANDCAMP | WAYSIDE

"Ten Freedom Summers is one of my life's defining works." - Wadada Leo Smith
-
Ten Freedom Summers Track Listing:
Disc One / Total time  67:30
1. Dred Scott: 1857 (11:11)
2. Malik Al Shabazz and the People of the Shahada (5:15)
3. Emmett Till: Defiant, Fearless (18:02)
4. Thurgood Marshall and Brown vs. Board of Education: A Dream of Equal Education, 1954 (16:06)
5. John F. Kennedy's New Frontier and the Space Age, 1960 (22:12)


Disc Two / Total time  68:02
6. Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days (12:43)
7. Black Church (16:34)
8. Freedom Summer: Voter Registration, Acts of Compassion and Empowerment, 1964 (12:32)
9. Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (24:12)


Disc Three / Total time  62:43
10. The Freedom Riders Ride (16:42)
11. Medgar Evers: A Love-Voice of a Thousand Years’ Journey For Liberty and Justice (10:23)
12. The D.C. Wall: A War Memorial For All Times (12:18)
13. Buzzsaw: The Myth of a Free Press  (15:02)
14. The Little Rock Nine: A Force For Desegregation In Education, 1957 (13:50)


Disc Four / Total time  67:54
15. America, Parts 1, 2 & 3 (14:14)
16. September 11th, 2001: A Memorial   (9:30)
17. Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964  (9:06)
18. Democracy (14:30)
19. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Memphis, the Prophecy (20:34)

Featuring:
Golden Quintet (#1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 17, 18)  Southwest Chamber Music (#5, 7, 9, 11)
Golden Quartet[S. Ibarra] (#10, 12)  GQ4[P. akLaff] (#6, 13, 15)
GQ4[S.] & SWC (#3, 14, 19)

Ten Freedom Summers is a monumental tribute to the American Civil Rights movement created by composer, improvisor, trumpeter and music theorist Wadada Leo Smith, a titan in contemporary jazz and creative music. Smith, who was born and raised in Mississippi under segregation, is one of the major figures in the international avant garde; DownBeat Magazine recently (summer 2014) named him one of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz”. Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers was released by Cuneiform in 2012 as a 4-CD set, containing 19 works that Smith had composed over a 35-year period. Performed and recorded by Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet/Quintet and Southwest Chamber Music. The music embraces both jazz and classical music.

When released in 2012, Ten Freedom Summers was acclaimed internationally, and topped many critics’ “Best of Year” lists.  In 2013, it was named one of the three finalists to the Pulitzer Prize in Music, the most prestigious award in American music.

Ten Freedom Summers has been performed live in its entirety - in a series of three special performances - in a number of cities world-wide.  Notable performances of the entire work include its premiere in Los Angeles at RedCat in 2011, and in 2013 in a special series of performances held in Washington DC at the Atlas Performing Arts Center to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington (August 1963). In addition, Smith has performed various works from Ten Freedom Summers with his Golden Quartet at numerous festivals worldwide.  Smith continues to compose new pieces for Ten Freedom Summers.



Wadada Leo Smith
Pultizer Prize Finalist 2013

Wadada Leo Smith was chosen as a Pulitzer Finalist for Music in 2013 for Ten Freedom Summers. 3 official 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music finalists were selected: "Wadada Leo Smith for "Ten Freedom Summers," recording released May 22, 2012, an expansive jazz work that memorializes 10 key moments in the history of civil rights in America, fusing composed and improvised passages into powerful, eloquent music. (Cuneiform Records)".
[See: 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalists - http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2013-Music]

"By selecting “Ten Freedom Summers” as a finalist among 157 entries, this jury made a clear statement that American music has ventured far beyond the noble traditions of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. How fitting that an artist indelibly linked with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians — which has been redefining music in America for nearly half a century — should carry that message forward."
- Howard Reich, "Pulitzer finalist Wadada Leo Smith symbolizes Chicago jazz power,"
Chicago Tribune, April 15, 2013
-

TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS
ONE OF 2012 BEST ALBUMS/ MORE THAN 60 CRITICS


“A stunning achievement, with the dramatic sweet of the trumpeter’s writing (for both a chamber orchestra and his own small group)… It merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.”
- Francis Davis, Rhapsody Jazz Critics Poll

“His masterpiece." - Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine

“The veteran trumpeter’s defining statement.” - Mike Hobart, Financial Times

“The most challenging (and emotionally rewarding) release of 2012."
Bret Saunders, Denver Post

“A monumental achievement… With anthemic, roiling sounds designed to celebrate and embody the once-inextricable link between protest and music.”
- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader


Listen to interviews by Wadada Leo Smith about Ten Freedom Summers
on
WBGO, taped April 6 w/ Josh Jackson: edited/official interview aired June 18, 2013
"RAW TAPE: Wadada Leo Smith Ten Freedom Summers," aired April 29, 2013
http://www.wbgo.org/thecheckout/raw-tape-wadada-leo-smith-ten-freedom-summers/

WNYC, with John Schaefer: May 1, 2013 9pm
http://soundcheck.wnyc.org/story/290595-penn-badgley-plays-jeff-buckley-john-grant-live-wadada-leo-smiths-ten-freedom-summers/


To read more about Ten Freedom Summers, please see:


--------------------------

About Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith, whose roots are in the Delta blues, is one of the most boldly original figures in American jazz and creative contemporary music, and one of the great trumpet players of our time. Born and raised in Leland, Mississippi, Smith start playing trumpet in R&B bands, encouraged by his stepfather, blues guitarist Alex Wallace. By the mid 1960s, he had gravitated to Chicago’s burgeoning avant-garde jazz community where he was part of the first generation of musicians to come out of Chicago’s AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music). Smith formed the Creative Construction Company together with saxophonist Anthony Braxton and violinist Leroy Jenkins and collaborated with a dazzling cast of fellow visionaries including Muhal Richard Abrams, Richard Davis and Steve McCall. Early in his career, Smith invented an original music notational system called Anhkrasmation, which was radical for its time and remains the physical and philosophical foundation of his oeuvre.

Since the early 1970s, Smith has performed and recorded mainly with his own groups. He has released nearly 50 albums under either his own or his bands’ names on ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo, Intakt and Cuneiform, among others. In addition to the 4-CD Ten Freedom Summers, he also recently released two CDs on the TUM label: Ancestors, a duo CD with Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Occupy The World, a 2-CD set with the 21-member TUMO, a new improvising orchestra that was assembled specifically for this project.

Smith was named International Musician of the Year for 2012 by Musica Jazz Magazine and one of the New York City Jazz Record’s 2012 Musicians of the Year. In 2013 alone, Smith was recognized as one of three finalists, from among 157 entries, for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music; named 2013 Composer of the Year in DownBeat Magazine's 61st Annual Critics Poll; and named both 2013 Musician of the Year and 2013 Trumpeter of the Year at the Jazz Journalists Association Awards.

He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) Award of Recognition, Southwest Chamber Music funded by the James Irvine Foundation and the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the MAP Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. An esteemed educator and music theorist, Smith has been on the Cal Arts faculty since 1993. At Cal Arts, he was director of the African American Improvisational Music Program and profoundly influenced several generations of artists.
www.wadadaleosmith.com



About Ten Freedom Summers

Reviewing Ten Freedom Summers’ October 2011 live premiere at REDCAT in LA, Larry Blumenfeld wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “Ten Freedom Summers was as striking a display of his expansive vision and his vitality. He still plays trumpet as he always has: with little vibrato and a tone that can be either boldly declarative or soft to the point of breaking… Mr. Smith had made his own statement through instrumental music. And it sounded complete."

Ten Freedom Summers received equal acclaim on CD. Released in May 2012 on the Cuneiform label, it earned a place as the #3 jazz record of the year in the Rhapsody Jazz Critics poll, where respected critic Francis Davis wrote: “A stunning achievement…. It merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.” National Public Radio included the CD in its Top 50 albums of 2012 and it placed eighth in the 2012 JazzTimes Critics Poll, while music criticism aggregator MetaCritic hailed it as the #1 under-the-radar album of 2012. In addition, Smith was named International Musician of the Year for 2012 by Musica Jazz Magazine and he was one of the New York City Jazz Record’s 2012 Musicians of the Year.

The work is “stirringly beautiful … an astounding aesthetic achievement,” (Michael Casper, Oxford American), “an emotional and intellectual luxury, a chance to commune with greatness,” (Josh Langhoff, Pop Matters), “the work of a lifetime by one of jazz’s true visionaries. … Triumphant and mournful, visceral and philosophical, searching, scathing and relentlessly humane, Smith’s music embraces the turbulent era’s milestones while celebrating the civil rights movement’s heroes and martyrs.” (Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery), and “his magnum opus; it belongs in jazz's canonical lexicon with Duke Ellington's Black Brown & Beige and Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite.” (Thom Jurek, All Music Guide). As Stuart Broomer wrote in Point of Departure: "If one had to answer quickly what work will matter most this year in American music (as if matters of mattering arose with some regularity), Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers would trip readily to the tongue."



About Cuneiform Records

Based in the Washington DC area, Cuneiform Records is an internationally-acclaimed, independent record label devoted to releasing cutting-edge, adventurous music in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, rock, electronic, classical minimalism and much more. Much of the label’s music defies, redefines and transcends existing genres-leading the way in music’s evolution into new and arresting 21st Century forms.

Since its founding in 1984, Cuneiform has released more than 370 albums by some of the best composers and improvisers in the international avant garde. Cuneiform has released several notable recordings by Wadada Leo Smith, including his monumental, 4-disc set Ten Freedom Summers, a Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Other Wadada Leo Smith recordings on Cuneiform include Heart’s Reflections; Spiritual Dimensions; and Tabligh. For more information on these, please see www.cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/smith.html

Cuneiform’s recordings by other jazz artists include John Hollenbeck’s renowned small ensemble, The Claudia Quintet, Rob Mazurek and his Sao Paulo Underground, The Microscopic Septet, Jason Adasiewicz’s Rolldown; John Surman, Steve Lacy-Roswell Rudd Quartet, New York Art Quartet, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Mujician and many more.  Cuneiform’s rock/pop/electronic/beyond releases include recordings by the DC WAMMIE-award winning duo, Janel & Anthony; Richard Pinhas/Heldon, Henry Kaiser, David Borden/Mother Mallard, Steve Moore, Univers Zero, Blixt(Bill Laswell/Raoul Bjorkenheim/Morgan Agren), djTrio(Christian Marclay/Toshio Kajiwara/DJ Olive), Ahleuchatistas, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, and many more.

Cuneiform is headquartered in downtown Silver Spring.