Exposé Online banner

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet — Tabligh
(Cuneiform Rune 270, 2008, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2008-10-01

Tabligh Cover art

Wadada Leo Smith is known to many fans as the joint leader of the Yo Miles! projects that spawned a new audience for heavy groove inflected fusion. Tabligh is a cousin of that groove, but it’s clear on whose shoulders these guys are standing. The tone is spacey with no pulse, modal, and vaguely Indian, complete with background drone. Trumpeter and educator Smith knows his Miles, and it shows here – any fans of Filles de Kilimanjaro would enjoy this. Keyboardist Vijay Iyer knows how to make the Fender Rhodes piano bark, quack, and sing across the disc. His acoustic piano showcase is freer than anything any of Miles’s keyboard players did, with his hands inside the piano at times recalling a young Chick Corea. The wah-wah doghouse bass of John Lindberg is a clear nod toward the young David Holland; he uses unusual extended techniques to quartet’s musical advantage. The fearless drums of Shannon Jackson swing along throughout the recording bringing the rest of the band along with him. Although Jackson has dropped the Ronald from his name, he sounds better than ever, playing much in the Tony Williams / Jack DeJohnette role. The 24-minute closer is stark, yet perhaps the most melodic thing on the record. It is definitely a step further away from Kilimanjaro. Overall this homage from performers who are jazz masters in their own right, paying tribute to the jazz masters of the past.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Wadada Leo Smith, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Vijay Iyer

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Machiavel - Mechanical Moonbeams – This is at least the third CD reissue of this third album by the Belgian band Machiavel: a near-bootleg issue transferred from scratchy vinyl was released in the late 80s, then last year it was...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues