Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Sophia Smith: Elevation

4

Sophia Smith: Elevation

By

View read count
Sophia Smith: Elevation
Initially from St. Thomas but now based in Toronto, Canada, saxophonist, composer and educator Sophia Smith has formed her own modern jazz ensemble, The Sophia Smith Quartet, showcasing her original compositions. Her work has been compared to that of saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Chris Potter, and guitarist Pat Metheny. This album reflects her recent experience within the Toronto music scene. In addition to her own quartet, Smith is a member of the Dennis Kwok Jazz Orchestra and the Backtrack Band.

Formed in 2017, this quartet represents a wide and diverse group of musicians from around the globe, giving Elevation a broad span of influences. These include Iranian-Canadian pianist, Amir Mehrabi and Indian drummer, Agneya Chikte. The quartet combines a concoction of traditional jazz approaches with modern techniques resulting in dense harmony and fetching melodies.

The opening track to Elevation is titled "Bright," perhaps in recognition to her tone. Smith delivers a catchy melody both composed and played with clear passion, channelling a folk-like influence. "Nocturne," as one might expect, is an elegant feature capturing the sparkle of a night sky. Its unified introduction is brilliantly executed and proceeds with a faded outro.

The title track, "Elevation," welcomes the guest appearance of tenor saxophonist Kyle Tarder-Stoll, performing alongside Smith, harmonising beautiful elongated lines before demonstrating an intimate and expressive solo. The piece concludes with a conversation between the two saxophonists trading ideas.

The inevitable ballad to be presented on this album, "Dreams of My Past," is a great insight to the sound of Smith as she experiments with range and contour. Her own chord progressions are filled with extensive harmony and colour providing a difficult platform to perform on; but they are executed admirably. Rounded off with a moving cadenza, this track is particularly noteworthy.

Elevation captures the essence of modern jazz in the mindset of a talented and exciting new prospect that is Sophia Smith.

Track Listing

Bright; Meraki; Nocturne; Elevation; Dreams of My Past; Outlander; What I'm Looking For; Ultramarine.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Kyle Tarder-Stoll: tenor saxophone.

Album information

Title: Elevation | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced


< Previous
Smile

Next >
Blissonance

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Harken!
Threeway with special guest John Etheridge
Stream of a Dream
Daniel Carter, Matthew Putman, Federico Ughi
Gnash
Dave Rempis / Tashi Dorji
Boundaries
Jake Baldwin, Zacc Harris, Pete Henning

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.