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Stuff Smith: Swingin' Stuff (2006)

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Stuff Smith: Swingin' Stuff How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Not only was Stuff Smith one of the first prominent jazz violinists, his gritty sound was very distinctive. These live sessions, recorded in 1965 (two years prior to his death), will be of great interest to fans of his work, with the addition of four previously unissued songs. Smith is accompanied by a superb rhythm section consisting of pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels-Henning rsted Pedersen and drummer Alex Riel. The music was recorded at Jazzhus Montmartre for a radio broadcast, though the sound is well balanced and beautifully remastered.



Among the new material is a brilliant take of "Caravan" featuring Smith playing a bit of pizzicato and potent solos by the leader, Drew and Pedersen. Other performances issued for the first time include Smith's spacious interpretation of "Perdido," a feature for Smith's hoarse vocals ("S'posin'"), along with a teasing arrangement of "How High the Moon" in which Pedersen interpolates "Ornithology" into his solo. "Take the A Train" and "One O'Clock Jump" are the best examples of Smith's slashing approach in up-tempo settings, while his humorous vocal is added for the snappy "My Blue Heaven." This is a must hear for any fan of jazz violin.


Track Listing: Caravan; Take the A Train; Old Stinkin' Blues; Only Time Will Tell; Mack the Knife; One O'Clock Jump; Blues for Timme (Timme's Blues); My Blue Heaven; Bugle Blues; C Jam Blues; Perdido; S'posin'; How High the Moon.

Personnel: Stuff Smith: violin, vocals; Kenny Drew: piano; Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen: bass; Alex Riel: drums.

Record Label: Storyville Records

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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