Genius sometimes has its limitations. In the case of brilliant pianist Vijay Iyer and his self-admitted hero, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, you have to turn your insides out to get behind what they're laying down on 'A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke.' Usually, everything, and I mean everything, on this great German label headed by the esteemed Manfred Eicher, is worth worth listening to. Yet I had trouble with this one.
Finland's TUM Records, both on disc and live at their annual Helsinki TUMfest, has been allowing musicians to explore their inner capabilities, expressions and dreams that may or may not be commercial enough to actually sell. The latest such offering, 'Celestial Weather,' features two such progressive, forward-thinking adventurers, John Lindberg on double-bass and Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet. It's an example of exotica, esoterica even.
Steeped in the rituals of ancient Africa and early traditions rooted in New Orleans music, Chicago jazz musicians are remembering the efforts of South Side musicians 50 years ago. Celebrating five decades, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) reflects on a rich history.