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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Source - All Along This Land – The Source is a Los Angeles based four-piece of g/k/b/d with keyboardist and primary composer Aaron Goldich assuming the vocal duties. They are a prog rock band with ambitious aims, as evidenced by...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues