TUM Records, 2021
Release date: 21st of May, 2021
Throughout 2021, TUM Records will celebrate the coming 80th birthday of renowned
composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith with a series of new releases showcasing
his monumental artistic vision. The yearlong celebration kicks off on May 21 with a pair
of three-CD boxed sets, one an inspiring solo trumpet recording captured in a beautiful
historic setting (Trumpet), the other a meeting of three true masters, Smith, Bill Laswell
and Milford Graves (Sacred Ceremonies).
The new releases also bring to ten the total number of Wadada Leo Smith’s projects
on TUM Records. These releases have ranged from solo and duo settings to large
ensembles and an oratorio, always featuring a different aspect of Wadada Leo Smith’s
uncompromising artistic vision.
“It is with great pride that TUM Records presents Wadada Leo Smith’s latest releases
and thereby commences the celebration of his coming 80th birthday,” says TUM Records
founder Petri Haussila. “From the very beginning, it has been our goal to foster longer
term relationships with our artists, among whom Wadada Leo Smith has a special place
of honor. We now have released ten projects with Wadada, each unique in its own way.
Among these, Trumpet and Sacred Ceremonies are the most extensive yet. We salute
Wadada for his 80th Anniversary and look forward to our continued collaboration.”
Trumpet is a unique extended collection of solo trumpet music recorded over one summer week amidst the beautiful natural acoustics of St. Mary’s Church, the medieval stone church in the Town of Pohja on the Southern Coast of Finland. Fourteen new compositions by Wadada Leo Smith are included on this recording and spread over three CDs.
Trumpet was recorded over one beautiful summer week in July 2016 at St. Mary’s Church in the town of Pohja, on the Southern Coast of Finland. The church was built between the years 1460 and 1480 and remains close to its original condition, being today used in much the same way as it was some 550 years ago as a meeting place for its parishioners.
Trumpet features fourteen new compositions by Wadada Leo Smith, including four extended works. As a whole, Trumpet represents a totally unique journey into the possibilities of the trumpet as a solo instrument and the immersive, almost meditative power of Smith’s extended solo performance.
Trumpet also represents a culmination so far of Smith’s recorded solo trumpet work that has comprised a total of six albums prior to Trumpet. That legacy begins with his very first album as a leader, Creative Music – 1: Six Solo Improvisations, in 1971 and includes most recently his dedication to Thelonious Monk, Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk, from 2015.
“I recorded Trumpet in a small town one hour west of Helsinki, Finland, creating the music in a fifteenth century stone church,” recalls Wadada Leo Smith. “The acoustics were perfect for the trumpet sound. The recording took place over four days during the summer. It was a beautiful moment for creating art.”
“The trumpet is a metallic vehicle and, because of its architectural design, it has the potentiality of offering the music creator the ability to create a pure and sometimes unimaginably beautiful music,” says Smith of his chosen instrument. “That music of the trumpeter is heard in this world and across space. It is an instrument made for the dreamer of dreams, the one who can authenticate the dream into reality.”
The cover art features a new series of Wadada Leo Smith’s Ankhrasmation Symbol Language Art Scores: “Wadada Playing Red Trumpet,” “Wadada Playing Gold Trumpet,” “Wadada Playing Purple Trumpet” and “Wadada Playing Silver Trumpet.” Many of his previous art scores have been exhibited at major American museums.