Music » Critics' Picks

Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet

7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 13. 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue.

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The music of the Golden Quartet may fall under the broad category of "jazz," but it's a sound more likely to evoke interstellar vistas or a primordial swamp than a smoky nightclub or swinging dance hall. Led by the noted trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, the group includes two other distinguished veterans of improvised music — bassist John Lindberg and percussionist Pheeroan akLaff — as well as pianist Vijay Iyer, a rising star whose CD Historicity topped many critics' "best of 2009" lists. The experimental jazz of the '60s and Miles Davis' electric explorations during the early '70s certainly are reference points, but the quartet's free-sounding improvisations actually are grounded in highly specific musical systems devised by Smith, who also teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.

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