107

Greg Smith: Above the Clouds

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Smith: Above the Clouds Guitarist/composer/educator Greg Smith attempts an ambitious synthesis within adult contemporary jazz intended to jettison his jazz vision from the maudlin confines of what passes for "smooth jazz today. Smith is not satisfied with the cliché throbbing synthesizers and intellectually deprived virtuosity plaguing the majority of jazz ostensibly intended for greater crossover appeal. Smith's approach is successful in its intentions on Above The Clouds.

This recording is a collection of original compositions that function as an integrated suite or "tone poem of music that touches the corner of multiple genres in an effort to assimilate these differing styles into a cohesive uber-performance. Smith has a unique ability to compose hook-filled pieces that you may well be humming later in the day after one spin of the disc. Infectious pretty well describes the entire phenomenon. Add to this the technical aspects of reveberation with a slight delay, and the resulting sound is very much Smith's own.

The title track offers a lilting example of guitar made ethereal. Smith achieves a sitar-like tone that gives the song, constructed over Western harmonies, a decidedly Eastern flavor, like a hint of curry in one's pasta. The solution of styles is provocative. Another example, "Mountain Hike, immediately takes on a Monterey-to-San Francisco feel in Smith's rhythum accompaniment to this solidly melodic song. Smith's obbligato and improvised solos are thoughtful and cleverly constructed not to waste notes—likewise, the entire recording. Above The Clouds is Greg Smith's shot across the bow of boring "smooth jazz, showing that the genre can be much, much more.


Track Listing: Above The Clouds; Mountain Hike; Stop Sign In Brazil; D's Dream; Lava; Appaloosa; Forties; Valgar; Summer Sand; Calamity; Chessmates; Wren Song; Figaro Tree; Postlude: Back Into The Clouds.

Personnel: Greg Smith: guitars.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "The Coyote" CD/LP/Track Review The Coyote
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!