[Music] Wadada Leo Smith – Spiritual Dimensions

A proper two-album set by Wadada Leo Smith, this double disc comes complete with two different, yet somehow well-meshed bands.  To see what I mean, take a look at each lineup:

Disc One:

Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet
Vijay Iyer – piano, synthesizer
John Lindberg – bass
Pheeroan AkLaff – drums
Don Moye – drums

Disc Two:

Wadada Leo Smith – trumpet
Nels Cline – guitar
Michael Gregory – guitar
Brandon Ross – guitar
Lamar Smith – guitar
Okkyung Lee – cello
John Lindberg – double bass
Skuli Sverrisson – electric bass
Pheeroan AkLaff – drums

These lineups are the cream of the crop of the improvisational music scene.  The music is as enjoyably quirky and free as you would expect from a collaboration as grand as this.

[Music] Rafael Mendez – Flight of the Bumble Bee & Mexican Hat Dance

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, which, of course, isn’t a national holiday in Mexico, but a commemoration of the city of Puebla inflicting a defeat against the mighty French army, one of the world’s best at the time, we are happy to share with you a video by Rafael Méndez, the Mexican virtuoso solo trumpeter who was known as the “Heifetz of the Trumpet.”

Enjoy the day, but please try not to turn it into Cinco de Drinko.

[Music] Rosen Zahariev-Roko | Dimitar Bodurov | Dimitar Semov – Mixing Vanity Trio


I have to admit to being thunderstruck by the work of Dimitar Bodurov, a Bulgarian pianist, composer and producer based in Amsterdam.  Doing a quick run last evening over at Bandcamp in their jazz improvisation tag, I came across Bodurov’s work, both solo and in this magnificent ECM-feeling trio setup, and it hooked me in from the first blare of the trumpet.  Rosen Zahariev-Roko steals the show in this release, playing magnificently, and both he and Bodurov are ably underpinned by the percussion work of  Dimitar Semov.

Opto Music is going to be a label to watch for in the future.

Welcome to AMOT…

To start the blog, one could do far worse than post a picture of one of my musical heroes, the legendary ‘Satchmo’, Louis Armstrong, giving an impromptu performance in Cairo, Egypt, for a throng of fans in 1961. The photo is from the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and I wish to acknowledge Meridian.org, who originally posted this picture and others.