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From Michael P. Gladstone I can learn that "Daniel Smith has invested a lot of time and energy to bring the repertoire of the bassoon into ragtime, jazz and contemporary music." Jim Santella is of the opinion that "...Daniel Smith swings with hearty passion on this recording, ..." and states "His virtuosity and the quartet's swinging approach provide an interesting outlook for jazz." Dan McClenaghan finally states that "The bassoon is rarely heard in jazz. The big, deep-toned double reed instrument is much more at home in the classical world. When encountered in a jazz setting, it's usually in larger ensemble recordings, painting dark colors in the harmonies. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter's classic Alegria (Verve, 2003) is a good example of the more common usage in the genre."
I took the chance to listen to the mp3 sample "Killer Joe" offered by AAJ (http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/jazzdownload.php?id=1453). Maybe that's a bad example, but at least Mr. Smith doesn't "swing" as Jim Santella states. For my ears that's "jazz" on a highschool level.
None of those critics has ever listened to Michael Rabinowitz? Come on! But actually none of Michael's recordings has been reviewed by any critic for AAJ. (How did Mr. Smith manage to get three reviews at AAJ within a week's time?) Please visit Michael's site (http://www.jazzbassoonist.com/), and take the chance to listen to some JAZZ played on the bassoon.
To my great relief I found Matthew Miller's review of Daniel Smith's recording today. Matthew Miller writes: "...For all his virtuosity however, Smith does seem out of his element at times. ..." That was my impression, too, listening to "Killer Joe", provided as mp3 by AAJ. Matthew Miller continues: "...Despite stellar support from his rhythm sections, ..., Smith often plays as if accompanied by an Abersold record." I couldn't have said it better! And Matthew Miller even mentions Michael Rabinowitz in this multiple review. Thanks for that. Matthew Miller closes his reviews with the words: "That said, Bebop Bassoon is an admirable project from an obvious jazz lover that will hopefully lead to greater acceptance of the bassoon as a serious jazz instrument." Well, as I already recommended in my first comment: visit Michael Rabinowitz's site (URL below), and listen to the samples from his latest CD "Ocean Eyes". That should be sufficient to prove that the bassoon is a "serious" jazz instrument.
Matthew Miller's review: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=22556
Michael Rabinowitz's site: http://www.jazzbassoonist.com/
all music ( http://allmusic.com/ ) offers some interesting information about Michael Rabinowitz.
I'm amazed at the positive press (reviews, airplay, etc.) Daniel Smith's Bebop Bassoon has received. Daniel plays grossly out of tune, his sound is nasal and thin, he rushes, and his improvisation is elementary--not even collegiate-level. I can understand the novelty of "jazz bassoon," but this album is a poor representation of what the instrument has to offer. Check out Michael Rabinowitz and Paul Hanson for examples of jazz bassoonists who get it. At least Smith's rhythm section sounds decent. I hope they were well-paid.
Why would you post something so mean? There are so many muscians of differing skills and styles, it honestly amazes ME, that you would take the time and have the passion to insult someone's playing so verbosely.
Your comments are more likely a reflection on your personal issues.
Jane Ira Bloom
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