Take Five With Enoch Smith, Jr.
"I'm a music lover first. My musical ability is just an extension of my love. Jazz, gospel, music for film/television, you name it and I can tell you a story about how I fell in love with it."
At the late age of 14 he began playing piano by ear at his church. This blossomed into a love affair that would prove lasting. By the age of 16, Enoch was determined to be a professional musician. With no formal piano instruction he auditioned and was accepted to the Berklee College of Music.
During his time at Berklee, Enoch was instructed by seasoned pianist Dean Earl (Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt). It was during these piano lessons that a certain foundation was laid. "If you don't have nuthin to say, close your mouth!" E.J. had the privilege of playing regularly at Wally's Jazz Cafe, an esteemed right of passage for Boston area musicians.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Red Garland's Piano. His rendition of 'Please Send Me Someone To Love' is the first song I ever transcribed....
CDs you are listening to now:
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis- Kind of Blue
Herbie Hancock- Thrust.
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I think jazz is evolving in different directions simultaneously. You have guys that are intent on playing in the style of their heroes and cats that are pushing the envelope daily. I think both directions are great for jazz and music in general.
I'm a Legislative Aide for an Assemblywoman in New Jersey. I research topics in order to create bills that she may sign into law.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: