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Rastafari by Leo Smith w/ the Bill Smith Ensemble

This is a reissue of modern jazz-avant-garde trumpeter Leo Smith’s fine 1983 LP for the Canadian "Sackville Records," label. This edition includes the original album cover art and Bill Shoemaker’s liner notes. Here, Smith performs with woodwind artist, Bill Smith and his violin, bass/cello and vibraphone ensemble for an adventurous set, tinged with freely improvised movements.

The musicians engage in a deceptively complex series of exchanges, marked by polytonal interplay, where vibist Larry Potter provides a high end sheen to the overall proceedings. On pieces such as "Madder Lake," violinist David Prentice’s staccato lines mesh rather nicely with Leo Smith’s raspy toned choruses and vapid single note flurries. Other highlights include the group’s sonorous, chamber-like endeavors and sequential soloing spots. They often pursue a round-robin type of approach, embroidered with changeable themes amid mood-evoking passages. Overall, this outing signifies a worthy and relatively important re-release for the trumpeter’s legion of admirers.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Leo Smith w/ the Bill Smith Ensemble
  • CD Title: Rastafari
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Reissue Original Release: 1983
  • Record Label: Boxholder Records
  • Tracks: Rastafari, Rituals, Madder Lake, Little Bits
  • Musicians: Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, harmonica), Bill Smith (soprano sax, sopranino sax, alto clarinet), David Prentice (violin), David Lee (bass, cello), Larry Potter (vibraphone)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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