379

Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III Walter Smith has a whole lot going on here. On this programme of originals and standards, the saxophonist's work is often so far advanced from a harmonic standpoint (in particular) that he manages to carve out his own space in the modern mainstream idiom, and that's no mean feat in itself.

He also likes to take his time, and in these days of often hyperactive-sounding soloists, that's more than welcome, too. He's no apostle of technical display for its own sake. This is perhaps best exemplified by his reading of Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love," where he makes every note count while retaining his own deep musical personality. The result shows just why this area of the music continues to offer rewarding listening.

In titling his own compositions, he might have played the enigmatic card with "Wooden Box (Spatula In Three)," where the quartet of Smith, Aaron Parks (keys), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums) simultaneously occupies rarefied musical territory and a space rife with precedents. The musicians' intuitive feel for each other's work also elevates the performance above the norm and emphasises just what a rich musical seam this can be when it's mined properly.

The piano-less reading of Ornette Coleman's "Peace" has the effect of revealing just how singular many of Coleman's early compositions remain. The fact that it's played by a sax/trumpet/bass/drums quartet, all of whose members bring their own musical personalities to bear, is a tribute to the importance of musical character.

Maybe it's inevitable that "promising" is one of the epithets often attached to first recordings. On this occasion, however, the words "casual introduction" are an underselling of the richness of the music—and if indeed this is the precedent for music to come, it's also evidence of richness of musical personality. Here's to the next one accordingly.


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 Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "The Best of Bossacucanova" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Bossacucanova
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!