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- 1Worried Woman07:35
- 2Turiya:Alice Coltrane Meditations and Dreams:Love17:24
- 5Pretty Beauty06:24
Info for Lebroba
Andrew Cyrille’s title Lebroba is a contraction of Leland, Brooklyn and Baltimore, birthplaces of the protagonists of an album bringing together three of creative music’s independent thinkers. Each of them made his first ECM appearance long ago: drummer Andrew Cyrille on Marion Brown’s Afternoon of a Georgia Faun (1970), trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on his own classic Divine Love (1978), and guitarist Bill Frisell on Eberhard Weber’s Fluid Rustle (1979); these are, of course, players of enduring influence. Frisell contributed to Cyrille’s previous ECM disc The Declaration of Musical Independence, but Lebroba marks a first-time meeting for the guitarist and Wadada Leo Smith. A generous leader, Cyrille gives plenty of room to his cohorts, and all three musicians bring in compositions, with “Turiya”, Wadada’s elegant dedication to Alice Coltrane, unfurling slowly over its 17-minute duration. In his own pieces, including the title track and the closing “Pretty Beauty”, Cyrille rarely puts the focus on the drums, preferring to play melodically and interactively, sensitive to pitch and to space. There are references to West African music and the blues as well as the history of jazz drumming, but Cyrille’s priority today is an elliptical style in which meter is implied rather than stated.
Andrew Cyrille’s 2016 release The Declaration of Musical Independence gave notice that one of the drumming innovators of new jazz had taken his conception of group playing to another level of development, and the space-conscious Lebroba, with Wadada Leo Smith and Bill Frisell, applies further fine-tuning. The album’s title is a contraction of Leland, Brooklyn and Baltimore, birthplaces of the protagonists of a recording which brings together three of creative music’s independent thinkers.
Each of them made his first ECM appearance long ago. Drummer Andrew Cyrille appeared on Marion Brown’s Afternoon of a Georgia Faun in 1970, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on his own Divine Love in 1978, and guitarist Bill Frisell in 1979 on Eberhard Weber’s Fluid Rustle, with his leader debut In Line following in 1982; these are, of course, players of enduring influence. In recent seasons, Cyrille has been heard on Ben Monder’s Amorphae, Wadada has recorded with Vijay Iyer on A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke and Frisell has introduced a duo with Thomas Morgan on Small Town.
Andrew Cyrille and Wadada Leo Smith first played together in the early 1970s in a period when some of the trailblazers of Chicago’s AACM were relocating to the New York region. In the late 1990s they came together again in the quartet of bassist John Lindberg. Their reunion in the Lebroba trio with this recording - made at New York’s Reservoir Studio - was suggested by the album’s producer, Sun Chung.
Always a generous leader, Cyrille gives plenty of room to his cohorts, who also bring in compositions, with Wadada’s elegant four-part suite dedicated to Alice Coltrane unfurling slowly over its 17-minute duration. Written and open sections are interlaced, with a free role for the drums in the closing moments. “I didn’t want to play all the time,” Andrew explains. “I wanted to play rhythms with spaces between them, and to play melodically, in relation to what Wadada and Bill were doing…” Creative energies are pooled also on the spontaneously created “TGD”, credited to all three players,
Reviews of Cyrille have often emphasised the elemental strength of his playing (“his energy is unflagging, his power absolute”, the All Music Guide notes). Yet even in contexts calling for unconditional drive – such as Cecil Taylor’s celebrated trio with Jimmy Lyons (of which Andrew was a member for more than a decade) – there always was a differentiated methodology at work in the drumming. Still, as Kevin Whitehead writes in the CD booklet, the release of The Declaration of Musical Independence in 2016 “took some listeners by surprise. There Andrew’s new elliptical style unfolded – a style, he says ‘where the meter is implied but not inferred’.”
Bill Frisell contributed to the Declaration album, but Lebroba marks a first-time meeting for the guitarist and Wadada Leo Smith. “If there is a continuity of concept between the Declaration quartet and this trio,” Says Cyrille in the liner notes, “the linchpin is Frisell. The music is different, but the concept is about the same. And then Wadada brings in his voice and his philosophy.”
With no bass and no keyboards this time, the ensemble texture is more transparent than on Declaration and with Cyrille sometimes reducing his sound to a discontinuous groundswell, there are plenty of the charged silences and open spaces that Wadada Leo Smith loves to play into. Bill Frisell’s history includes extensive work with another bassless trio, Paul Motian’s trio with Joe Lovano. “Andrew does remind me of Paul in a way,” says Frisell. “People describe their playing as free or abstract and overlook the feel: the deep, deep beat coming from a deep, deep place.”
Even unstated, its presence is felt on Lebroba, not least on Andrew’s tunes, the bluesy title piece, and the graceful ballad “Pretty Beauty”.
Andrew Cyrille, drums
Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet
Bill Frisell, guitar
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