Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

460

Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Walter Smith III, a striking saxophonist, has entered the arena with this promising debut. A rising horn player, he has performed and shared the stage with a variety of musicians, including jazz veterans (Roy Haynes, Ralph Peterson), pop stars (Destiny's Child, Lauren Hill), and contemporary jazz luminaries (Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran).

Like recordings by other younger artists, this disc integrates a variety of styles and influences into a jazz framework, creating an open avenue in which Smith can channel his ideas. They are carried forth by a cast of young jazz leaders who are already making their own marks, including pianist Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Eric Harland, and many others.

The recording touches on many different levels and styles. The sheer power of hard bop is communicated in the Sam Rivers composition "Cyclic Episode, whose circuitous melody is parsed into various instrumental sections, building with a scorching tempo and incendiary solos. The cool textures of the Fender Rhodes alongside Smith's arid sax appear on "Kate Song and the odd-metered "Tail of Benin, where Smith alternates between natural and electronic wind effects. There's also a wonderful cover of West African guitar sensation Lionel Loueke's "Benny's where Loueke contributes his unique guitar and vocals.

This aural glossary also includes the beauty of traditional sources like the rare Mingus composition "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love, where Smith's tenor is throaty and eloquent, showing empathy for the classic work. Surprisingly, instead of going for the burn, the recording continues on a mellow path with another standard and two Smith compositions that reveal his depth and arranging skills. But Smith does flex his tenor muscles, swinging hard on the "Blues with bassist Rueben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland in an all-out performance workout that could only be accomplished by highly skilled jazz musicians.

Track Listing: Cyclic Episode; Kate Song; Tail Of Benin; Benny

Personnel: Walter Smith lll: tenor,soprano sax; Aaron Parks: piano, fender rhodes; Reuben Rogers: bass (1,2,4,6,7,9); Vicente Archer: bass (3,5,8); Eric Harland: drums (1,2,4,6,7,9); Kendrick Scott:drums (3,5,8); Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (1,4,7); Lionel Loueke: guitar, vocals (2,4); Robert Glasper: Fender Rhodes (2); Lage Lund: guitar (3); Gretchen Parlato: vocals (3); Matt Kilmer:electronic hand percussion (2).

Title: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Masters In Bordeaux" CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Tied Together, Not to the Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Tied Together, Not to the Ground
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor