All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Twio by Roger Farbey
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Twio

Twio

Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2018

buy
Still Casual

Still Casual

Self Produced
2014

buy
III

III

Criss Cross
2011

buy
Casually Introducing Walter Smith III

Casually Introducing...

Fresh Sound New Talent
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Fountain Of Youth" CD/LP/Track Review Fountain Of Youth
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "My Tongue Crumbles After" CD/LP/Track Review My Tongue Crumbles After
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Disconnected" CD/LP/Track Review Disconnected
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "I Speilvendthet" CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017