6

Jamie Alexander Smith: Kinesis

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Jamie Alexander Smith: Kinesis Kinesis, from the young Edinburgh based pianist Jamie Alexander Smith, is sub-titled Four Improvisations On Piano. The sub-title pretty much explains things—on a basic level and except for the fact that a fifth track, "WKG," puts in an appearance. Of course, while the basic level of explanation hints at Smith's compositional approach and makes his instrument of choice clear, it doesn't give any real indication of the music on offer.

So what can be expected from the improvising pianist? Maybe some free-form passages, some aggressive pounding on the keyboard, dissonance? Smith is never in thrall to these improvisational clichés. His approach stresses rhythm and melody and his playing is characterised by a cool confidence—he's in control, mind always ahead of his hands.

On "Release" Smith's delicate right hand patterns sparkle. "Kinetic" has the skittish energy the title suggests—the right hand is now more percussive, more frenetic. Shifts of pace and tone come thick and fast on "Undercurrent" and "WKG." Numerous ideas emerge, yet both tunes have a basic cohesiveness—the ideas never jar with each other, never sound random or haphazard. "Channelling" channels the spirit of the blues, a spot of stride, a bit of boogie. It's immediately engaging and likeable—a familiar sound that doesn't stretch Smith's imagination but does show that he can lay down some old-school grooves.

Kinesis clocks in at around 20 minutes, enough time for Smith to demonstrate his imaginative scope as well as his musical chops. If Smith can maintain this level of inventive musicianship across a full-length album then he's definitely a player with potential.

Track Listing: Kinetic; Undercurrent; Channelling; Release; WKG (Bonus Track).

Personnel: Jamie Smith: piano.

Title: Kinesis | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.