Reviews that mention Adam Rudolph

June 1, 2018

Wadada Leo Smith

TUM CD 049



Libra 204-043

After more than a half century of diverse music making, at 76, Wadada Leo Smith is now considered a major American composer, player and academic theoretician, with the consequent awards and accolades that accrue from that status. Yet they haven’t kept him away from new objectives. Acknowledged for his large-form and solo work, he’s also been part of many combos since he Leroy Jenkins and Anthony Braxton hooked up in the late 1960s. Known for his skills in an all-acoustic environment these new CDs demonstrate his dexterity in an electronic environment and true to form each illuminates a singular aspect of that area. MORE

May 17, 2016

Adam Rudolph Go Organic Guitar Orchestra

Turning Towards the Light
Cuneiform Records RUNE 406

By Ken Waxman

New York guitarist Adam Rudolph’s conducting Toronto players in a group improvisation earlier this year at the Music Gallery was fascinating. But it was also like reading one well-crafted chapter in a serialized novel. That’s because the peripatetic Rudolph has directed similar large groups for the past few years, melding non-western rhythms with Euro-American instrumental techniques. Turning towards the Light is the most recent recorded example, but rather then parcelling out parts among vocalist and instrumentalists as in Toronto, the CD showcases 13 instances of intermingling string strategies from six electric guitarists, one acoustic guitarist, a bass guitarist as well as three pickers who individually switch between electric bass and lap steel guitar; electric and national steel guitars; and electric guitar and banjo. MORE

December 6, 2014

Creative Music Studio

Archive Selections, Vol. 1
Innova 805

By Ken Waxman

Brainchild of Ornette Coleman, Karl Berger and Ingrid Ingrid Sertso, the Woodstock, N.Y.-based Creative Music Studio (CMS) has had an influence that continues to resonate past its physical presence from 1971-1984. Dedicated to erasing the false barriers among different musics, its workshops and concerts not only helped spread freer sounds among players identified with jazz or so-called classical music, but with participants from overseas welcomed, it helped birth a sophisticated variant of world music. MORE

October 7, 2012

Adam Rudolph/Ralph M. Jones

Merely a Traveler on the Cosmic Path
Meta Records 015

By Ken Waxman

Ranging through a program of 14 musical miniatures, playing almost double that number of sound makers, percussionist Adam Rudolph and reedist Ralph M. Jones prove conclusively that exotic themes and ethnic instruments can be legitimately used to create forthright improvisations.

Besides having the ambidextrous skills to negotiate the unique characteristics of this Ali Baba’s cave-full of membranophones, idiophones and aerophones, the two meld the instruments’ entrancing textures vividly because of their long-time familiarity with each other’s talents. Although this is only their second duo CD, the drummer and woodwind player have worked together for nearly 40 years. Besides improvising with elders such as reedist Yusef Lateef, Rudolph leads combos plus the mammoth Go: Organic Orchestra, with Jones a member of many of his ensembles. No world music poseurs, both men have studied Asian and African music for years, relating it to African-American improvisation. MORE

May 31, 2012

Adam Rudolph/Go: Organic Orchestra

The Sound of a Dream
Meta Records META 014

Paradoxically as his sonic canvas has enlarged and his palate of instrumental shading has become more numerous, percussionist/composer/conductor Adam Rudolph appears to have produced a less promising creation than last time out. Although there’s much to admire in The Sound of a Dream, an 18-part suite, interpreted by 48 [!] musicians, ironically it seems to lack the organic fortitude that made Both/And, his previous release, so exceptional.

By nearly tripling the number of participant, there appears to literally be too many tones, rhythms and textures being advanced by too many musicians too much of the time. Similarly by evidentially cleaving closer to orchestral conventions albeit with more improvisational choices, too many of the tracks lack an overriding motif to sunder them together. You’re left wanting more; not in anticipation but for completion. Interestingly, but troubling as well, Rudolph doesn’t play on the session MORE

November 25, 2011

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures

Meta Records META 013

After spending nearly four decades investigating the rhythmic and sonic inter-relations among sounds from different cultures, New York percussionist Adam Rudolph has moved past creating so-called World music. His aim, mostly realized with this CD and in live performances by his ensembles, is something more profound: individual music, which doesn’t distort the foundation sounds on which it’s based.

This may appear easier to do than it is. Most so-called World music presented to Westerners is an electrified variant, closely allied to Rock and Pop, with only the vocals left in native languages. Thankfully avoiding vocals, the Chicago-born drummer, composer and arranger instead studs his pieces with ethnic sounds which organically relate to one another. On top of this, brief solos with Jazz and improvised music backing are interleaved among other musical layers. Refining his vision, Rudolph adapts the idiosyncratic rhythms and time-signatures of South Asian, Middle-Eastern and African musics in this suite. Yet such is the unity of his vision – not to mention his arranging skills – that nowhere on Both/And does it appear as if any intonation or beat is shoehorned into another. MORE

December 6, 2004


Meta 009

Three generations of improvisers gather for a meeting of the minds on VISTA proving once again that musically age isn’t as important as time signatures.

Saxophonist and flautist Sam Rivers, a sprightly 81, is known for the advanced combo and big band sessions he led in the 1960s and 1970s as well as Studio Rivbea, which gave many avant gardists of that time a place to play in New York. Holding down the traps set is Los Angeles-based drummer Harris Eisenstadt -- 52 years his junior -- who has played with musicians ranging from saxophonist Yusef Lateef to trumpeter Roy Campbell and who has studied percussion both academically and with drum masters in Gambia. MORE