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Monday, October 8, 2007

John Coxon/Wadada Leo Smith - Brooklyn Duos (Treader, 2007) ***

Looks like Wadada Leo Smith is definitely committed to releasing duo recordings, the third already in a year, this time with British multi-instrumentalist John Coxon, known from Spring Heel Jack, on whose The Sweetness Of Water, Smith also participated. But Coxon isn't into electronics or sampling here, he plays harmonica and guitar, both electric and acoustic. Technically Smith is another league than Coxon, but musically they are very much on the same wavelength here. This isn't a spiritual outing as on some other of Wadada Leo Smith's records, this one is more about sound, open structure and interaction, yet very soulful, without needing rhythm or fixed melody. The good thing is Coxon knows his limits in the presence of Smith, and he just adds color, contrast and support, without venturing too far, although it must be said that his use of the instruments is very functional and creative, although on the longest tracks "Urban Air Voices" and "November Flowers", the limitations of his guitar playing started to work a little on my nerves (but maybe that says more about my nerves). But still, a nice effort, and Smith fans will definitely want to hear this one. For those who haven't heard him play yet, there are other albums that are more recommended.