Louis Smith: Once In a While
Cut in Denmark during Smith’s summer vacation in 1998, Once In a While is representative of the kind of bebop session that is part and parcel of Smith’s time-honored approach, although the line-up is a novel one not used previously by the trumpeter. Guitarist Doug Raney is the ringer in this piano-less group that also includes SteepleChase regular Keith Copeland on drums. The quartet hits a relaxed, but resolute groove on a set of eight golden standards, including a tip of the hat to Louis’ fellow trumpeters- namely through versions of Miles Davis’ "Tune Up" and Clifford Brown’s "Sandu."
Never much of a technician, Smith still has the ability to construct intelligent solos that tell a story and his sound is marked by a round and softened timbre. Raney should have received equal billing here, because his rich and melodic lines are some of the best moments to be found among this generous offering of music. Cutting to the chase, this no-nonsense affair is a worthy addition to Smith’s burgeoning recorded career. And who says there ain't life after retirement?
Track Listing: Just Friends, Once In a While, Over the Rainbow, Tune Up, Don't Blame Me, Once I Had a Secret Love, Sandu, There Is No Greater Love (70:26)
Personnel: Louis Smith- trumpet, Doug Raney- guitar, Hugo Rasmussen- bass, Keith Copeland- drums
Record Label: SteepleChase Records