Kinesis, from the young Edinburgh based pianist Jamie Alexander Smith, is sub-titled Four Improvisations On Piano. The sub-title pretty much explains thingson a basic level and except for the fact that a fifth track, "WKG," puts in an appearance. Of course, while the basic level of explanation hints at Smith's compositional approach and makes his instrument of choice clear, it doesn't give any real indication of the music on offer.
So what can be expected from the improvising pianist? Maybe some free-form passages, some aggressive pounding on the keyboard, dissonance? Smith is never in thrall to these improvisational clichés. His approach stresses rhythm and melody and his playing is characterised by a cool confidencehe's in control, mind always ahead of his hands.
On "Release" Smith's delicate right hand patterns sparkle. "Kinetic" has the skittish energy the title suggeststhe right hand is now more percussive, more frenetic. Shifts of pace and tone come thick and fast on "Undercurrent" and "WKG." Numerous ideas emerge, yet both tunes have a basic cohesivenessthe ideas never jar with each other, never sound random or haphazard. "Channelling" channels the spirit of the blues, a spot of stride, a bit of boogie. It's immediately engaging and likeablea familiar sound that doesn't stretch Smith's imagination but does show that he can lay down some old-school grooves.
Kinesis clocks in at around 20 minutes, enough time for Smith to demonstrate his imaginative scope as well as his musical chops. If Smith can maintain this level of inventive musicianship across a full-length album then he's definitely a player with potential.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.