Album: Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform)

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The Independent Culture

This is really something. Veteran trumpeter Smith has been writing music about the civil-rights struggle since a tribute to Medger Evers 35 years ago.

Various grants funded more pieces and, in November last year, he performed and recorded the complete Ten Freedom Summers over three nights in LA, with his quintet joined by a classical chamber group. There are four CDs' worth but it's enormously rewarding, like mid-period Miles Davis playing Ligeti.