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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago 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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anekdoten - Nucleus – Especially after great shows at a couple of the Monster Prog shows in the last year or so, Anekdoten's follow up to the much heralded Vemod has surely been one of the most anticipated prog...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues