Wadada Leo Smith
“Ten Freedom Summers”

Wadada Leo Smith
Ten Freedom Summers
Cuneiform : 2012

WLS, trumpet; Anthony Davis, piano; John Lindberg, bass; Pheeroan akLaff, drums; Susie Ibarra, drums.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a contest on the site, so we’re doing a major giveaway — offering a brand new copy of Wadada Leo Smith’s epic 4-CD set Ten Freedom Summers. In a full page rave review, The Wire recently dubbed it “a monumental evocation of America’s Civil Rights movement.”

Not only is this one of our favorites of the year, but it’s one of the few jazz albums whose release can genuinely be termed an event. The culmination of 30 years effort, Ten Freedom Summers is one of the defining works of Smith’s career. Each of the four discs is packed with over 70 minutes of new music, each track an abstract evocation of a moment within the Civil Rights struggle.

You only have to check the track credits above to see that he’s assembled one of his best Golden Quintets – who alternate and combine on some tracks with the Southwest Chamber Music ensemble. Throughout, the music ripples with dramatic melodies, tender textures, stirring rhythms, and empathic and riveting interplay. This isn’t some musty historical song cycle, but vital and surprising music that’s built on immediacy and potent ambiguity.

Our thanks to the fine folks at Cuneiform Records for providing this prize — and for letting us share an exclusive excerpt from the album. 

There are two parts to winning this magnificent set:
1) Tell us your favorite Wadada Leo Smith track or album, and, in the same comment
2) We’re thinking of a number between 1 and 200. Put your guess in a comment to this post, along with your song choice. One guess only and please try not to duplicate other selections; check through the comments before entering. Contest deadline: Midnight EST, Wednesday, July 18th.

The person who nails our number — or comes closest  — wins. Good luck!

Discussion133 Comments Category contests, Wadada Leo Smith

133 Responses to SUMMER CONTEST:
Wadada Leo Smith
“Ten Freedom Summers”

  1. Touch the Earth. 5.

  2. whoops, number already taken. New number is 194.

  3. Divine Love


  4. Tastalun


  5. kabell years and the number 12

  6. Tabligh. #36

  7. Sorry…. ‘Rosa Parks’ from Tabligh. #36

  8. The duets with Ed Blackwell! #92

  9. My intro to his music was Reflectativity … so:


  10. procession of the great ancestry-nessa


  11. The Little Rock Nine: A Force For Desegregation In Education, 1957


  12. Bad email typing last time!

    The Little Rock Nine: A Force For Desegregation In Education, 1957


  13. 57 taken

    I’ll try 75

  14. Dark Lady of the Sonnets – # 110

  15. Procession of the Great Ancestry, Procession of the Great Ancestry

  16. America – 134

  17. My favorite is Spirit Catcher.


  18. The Blue Mountain’s Sun Drummer……168

  19. Divine love


  20. Procession of the Great Ancestry


  21. Pacifica

  22. I love “Buffalo People”, Wadada Leo Smith & Ed Blackwell……
    My number will be 200 =D

  23. A few people have said Reflectativity, but not specified whether they like the 1974 or 2000 version. So let me say: Reflectativity, 74!

  24. Spiritual Dimensions – # 171

  25. The Blue Mountain’s Sun Drummer.

    Number 3.

  26. The Blue Mountain’s Sun Drummer #13

  27. Spiritual Dimensions


  28. CreaConstComp 124

  29. Reflectivity

  30. Seeds of a forgotten flower

  31. Malik Al Shabazz And The People Of The Shahada – 199

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