Tuesday, June 2, 2015

LEO SMITH'S NEW DALTA AHKRI – Song Of Humanity (LP-1977)




Label: Kabell Records – K-3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded August 4, 1976 at the Gallery, Hartford, Connecticut.
Photo/Design by – Diane L. Cherr
Cover by – Leo Smith
Engineer – Doug Clark, Peter Solak
Mastered By – Don Van Gordon

A1 - Song Of Humanity (Dedicated To Bobby Ferguson) ....................................... 5:13
A2 - Lexicon ............................................................................................................ 7:40
A3 - Peacocks, Gazelles, Dogwood Trees & Six Silver Coins (For Kathleen) ........ 8:30
B1 - Of Blues And Dreams .................................................................................... 11:03
B2 - Pneuma ........................................................................................................... 1:34
B3 - Tempio ............................................................................................................. 6:59

Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet, flugelhorn, sealhorn, atenteben, steel-o-phone, percussion
Oliver Lake – flute, soprano sax, alto sax, marimba, percussion
Anthony Davis – piano, electric piano, [organ]
Wes Brown – bass, atenteben, odurogyabe
Paul Maddox  alias Pheeroan AkLaff – drums, percussion

Song of Humanity is an album by American jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith with the ensemble New Dalta Ahkri, which was recorded at The Gallery, New Haven, and released in 1977 on his own Kabell label.




After high school, Smith travelled for about a year with various blues, rhythm ‘n´ blues and soul groups before entering the U.S. Army. In addition to attending the U.S. Army School of Music, Smith played for a total of about five years in six different army bands, touring not only in the Southern United States but also in France and Italy. He also continued to broaden his musical horizons and was leading his own Ornette Coleman-inspired trio while still in the military. In 1967, Smith left the army and moved to Chicago to work with saxophonist Anthony Braxton and other members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the Chicago creative music collective that combined the music´s African roots with an improvisational approach. Soon after his arrival in Chicago, Smith, Braxton and violinist Leroy Jenkins met for an impromptu practice session and, as a result, founded the Creative Construction Company, a collaborative group that became one of the key early ensembles of the AACM. Other collaborators of Smith´s in the pioneering work of the AACM included saxophonists Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, trumpeter Lester Bowie, trombonist George Lewis and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams.

Smith´s first recordings were also made in Chicago during this period under the leadership of Braxton (Three Compositions Of New Jazz in 1968 and Silence in 1969; these albums included Smith´s first recorded compositions, "The Bell" and "Silence", respectively, which already used the rhythm-units concept, a framework for improvisation that Smith developed more fully in the 1970s), McIntyre (Humility In The Light Of The Creator in 1969) and Abrams (Young At Heart, Wise In Time in 1969).

Like many other AACM members, Smith supported himself by playing in the horn sections of various rhythm ‘n´ blues and soul bands, including Little Milton Campbell´s group. In 1969, Smith turned down Little Milton´s offer to become the straw-boss of his road band and moved to Paris together with Anthony Braxton and Leroy Jenkins as well as a few other key members of the AACM. During his year in Paris, Smith took part in two important recordings by Braxton for the BYG Actuel label (Anthony Braxton in 1969 and This Time… in 1970) with a quartet that also included Jenkins and drummer Steve McCall. Smith also recorded a duo album with saxophonist Marion Brown in Paris (Creative Improvisation Ensemble/Duets in 1970). However, perhaps the most legendary line-up of this period was an expanded version of the Creative Construction Company (with Smith, Braxton, Jenkins, Muhal Richard Abrams, bassist Richard Davis and McCall), which was recorded live in 1970 in connection with the AACM´s first concert in New York City (Creative Construction Company and Creative Construction Company 2). Smith worked with Braxton throughout the 1970s, including in Braxton´s quartet with Smith, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Phillip Wilson and other small groups as well as on Braxton´s classic big band recordings, Creative Orchestra Music 1976 and Creative Orchestra (Koln) 1978. Since that time, Braxton and Smith have continued to play together from time to time.

After the year in Paris, Smith led his own group, Intergral, with saxophonist Henry Threadgill, trombonist Lester Lashley and drummer Thurman Baker, for about six months before settling in New Haven, Connecticut, for a period of ten years. In New Haven, Smith concentrated on his own music as well as studying and teaching rather than touring and recording all over the world like many of his compatriots. In addition to leading his own groups and teaching at the University of New Haven, he studied ethnomusicology at the Wesleyan University, focusing on West African, Japanese, Indonesian and Native American music cultures.

Smith´s first recording as a leader was a solo album (Creative Music-1 in 1971), which was also the first album released on Kabell, the independent record label Smith had founded. After this first solo recording, Smith has continued to perform solo concerts and has recorded three additional solo albums (Solo Music/Ahkreanvention in 1979, Kulture Jazz in 1992 and Red Sulphur Sky in 2001).

Smith´s principal ensemble in New Haven, New Dalta Ahkri, was comprised of his students and other young musicians based in the area. At various times, these included saxophonists Dwight Andrews, Oliver Lake and Henry Threadgill, pianist Anthony Davis, vibraphonist Bobby Naughton, guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson, bassist Wes Brown and drummer Pheeroan akLaff, among others. Following Smith´s first solo recording, New Dalta Ahkri was responsible for the next two albums for Kabell (Reflectativity, with Smith, Davis and Brown, in 1974 and Song Of Humanity, with Smith, Lake, Davis, Brown and akLaff, in 1976) as well as a track on Wildflowers, the five-album collection that documented New York´s burgeoning loft jazz movement of the mid-1970s (Wildflowers 2, with Smith, Lake, Davis, Brown, akLaff and drummer Stanley Crouch, in 1976). New Dalta Akhri was also featured on Smith´s subsequent small group recordings (The Mass On The World, with Smith, Andrews and Naughton, in 1978; Divine Love, with Smith, Andrews and Naughton as well as trumpeters Lester Bowie and Kenny Wheeler and bassist Charlie Haden, in 1978; Spirit Catcher, with Smith, Andrews, Naughton, Brown and akLaff, in 1979; and Go In Numbers, with Smith, Andrews, Naughton and Brown, in 1980). In addition, members of New Dalta Ahkri were part of the two large orchestras responsible for Smith´s first big band recordings, Leo Smith Creative Orchestra (Budding Of A Rose in 1979) and Leo Smith & The Creative Improviser Orchestra (The Sky Cries The Blues in 1981).

Leo Smith said:
"I first met Pheeroan akLaff (real name is Paul Maddox) in New Haven, Connecticut around 1975-76. It was during this time that we began to talk about making music together in my New Dalta Ahkri ensemble.
My impression of Pheeroan was that he was a truly beautiful spirit, a creative artist who had a connection with spirituality in his character. A young man not frightened by musical ideas of a different nature nor of musical languages unlike his own music at the time. Pheeroan became the first drummer in New Dalta Ahkri and was a part of its musical research and development; therefore, he was the first drummer/percussionist to articulate my rhythm-units concept in performances and on recordings.
As a master drummer/percussionist, Pheeroan has a musical sophistication that gives him the ability to articulate any musical idea into its essence, while maintaining every aspect of its emotional energy transporting the performer and the listener. He is a great artist."


50 Years of AACM - Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians



If you find it, buy this album!

13 comments:

  1. LEO SMITH'S NEW DALTA AHKRI – Song Of Humanity (LP-1977)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Cover

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?p7x0dux1bx

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  2. Thanks you verry much

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  3. Plus... 27 minute bonus track from the CD issue (also flac)

    http://www47.zippyshare.com/v/mza7Zc31/file.html

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    Replies
    1. Great. Thank you very much, aclev.

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  4. Hi Vitko, I visit your blog reguarly since about a month. I`d the pleasure to listen intensely to you AACM posts. Beside the music, I wonder how you manage to extract such a superb sound quality of those old vinyl records. Burnt on a DVD the sound of your rips, played on my stereo equipment is amazing clean and crisp. Together with complete label and cover scans your posts are outstanding. I just want to mention. Thanks you so much.
    Uwe from G.

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    Replies
    1. I must admit that I'm most proud of when you're satisfied with what you hear. I'm trying a lot in the studio until I get a good, clean and powerful sound, preferably a high-quality. Thanks Uwe.

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  5. most of your posts are ´firsts´ for me...it´s beautiful music...thank you Vitko...

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  6. Hi, your blog is really fantastic..
    btw i have a request.. could it be possible to re-upload the 27 minutes bonus track from the cd??

    thanxx

    Lilith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soon, but first I need to find the folder where it is... :)

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