Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Procession of the Great Ancestry

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Released  1989
Length  47:15
Artist  Wadada Leo Smith
Label  Nessa Records
Recorded  February 28, 1983
Producer  Chuck Nessa
Release date  1989
Genre  Jazz
Procession of the Great Ancestry joefondacomassetsimagesRecordingscdNessancd
Studio  Acme Recording, Chicago
Human Rights (1982)  Procession of the Great Ancestry (1989)
Similar  Wadada Leo Smith albums, Jazz albums

Procession of the Great Ancestry is an album by American jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith which was recorded in 1983, first released in 1989 on the English Chief label licensed by Nessa Records and reissued in 2009 on Nessa.



The album includes four compositions dedicated to trumpeters who have inspired Smith (Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Booker Little and Roy Eldridge) and performed by a quartet including vibraphonist Bobby Naughton, bassist Joe Fonda and percussionist Kahil El'Zabar. On two vocal tracks the ensemble is joined by bassist Mchaka Uba and blues guitarist Louis Myers. The final track is a Martin Luther King tribute and the quartet is joined by tenor saxophonist John Powell.


In his review for AllMusic, Thom Jurek says "Procession of the Great Ancestry is among Wadada Leo Smith's most obscure, but ultimately most satisfying, recordings. This was the first album to showcase Smith's expansive vision, which included all forms of black music -- from the myriad languages of jazz to gutbucket blues, reggae, and various African folk musics as well as a little R&B groove for measure."

The Penguin Guide to Jazz states "'Smith makes no attempt to pastiche any of his musical ancestors. A wonderful record, despite the overcooked poetics."

Track listing

All compositions by Wadada Leo Smith
  1. "Blues: Jah Jah Is the Perfect Love" - 2:50
  2. "Procession of the Great Ancestry" - 15:10
  3. "The Flower That Seeds the Earth" - 6:09
  4. "The Third World, Grainery of Pure Earth" - 8:25
  5. "Who Killed David Walker?" - 3:12
  6. "Celestials Sparks in the Sanctuary of Redemption" - 8:01
  7. "Nuru Light: The Prince of Peace" - 3:11


  • Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet, flugelhorn, kalimba, voice
  • Bobby Naughton - vibraharp
  • Joe Fonda - bass, electric bass on 1 & 5
  • Kahil El'Zabar - drums, balafon, kalimba, percussion
  • Louis Myers - electric guitar on 1 & 5
  • Mchaka Uba - bass on 1 & 5
  • John Powell - tenor sax on 7
  • References

    Procession of the Great Ancestry Wikipedia