Plenty of artists play soprano saxophone, either as their weapon of choice or as an auxiliary axe, yet the instrument's inherent gift for melody is still under-explored in jazz. John Coltrane used it to probe deep into the recesses of sound itself, Wayne Shorter takes it on stratospheric flights, darting and daring all the while, and Sam Newsome works it to its limits through the use of extended techniques. Branford Marsalis, perhaps the most notable practitioner on the soprano saxophone today, tends to lean toward a modern menacing sound, classical sense of aural construction or a NOLA-based, Sidney Bechet-influenced style ...read more
A debut CD has to be good to get noticed--really good. Also, behind the pretty, well-designed cover art, an aspiring jazz person with a low profile has to have some nerve to put forty-five minutes to an hour of brand new music out there. At the very least, a new-to-the-scene artist better be able to run with the pack of more established players, or be quickly forgotten.Soprano saxophonist Jasmine Lovell-Smith, who moved to New York from New Zealand in 2010, has put together a marvelous quintet, Towering Poppies. Her soprano horn is paired a bit unusually with a ...read more
Meet Jasmine Lovell-Smith: Jasmine Lovell-Smith is a composer and saxophonist from New Zealand, currently based in New York City. Born to an American mother, a trained opera vocalist, and a Kiwi father, the voice was her first instrument. After discovering jazz in high school, Jasmine took up the saxophone and went on to graduate from Massey University (Wellington, NZ) in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music (1st class Honors) majoring in jazz saxophone performance and composition. She was awarded a full Honors scholarship on the basis of exceptional academic achievement.Jasmine seeks to create music that is ...read more
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