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Warren Smith (drums, vibraphone, percussion) does not have a deep discography as a leader, and so any recording by him is most welcome. All the music on this CD has been performed live but never released, and the wait makes hearing it all the sweeter.
While free forms were core to his heart, Smith never lost sight of melody and composition. His approach is reflected in the diversity of music on Old News Borrowed Blues, a title he says mirrors the times and problems of today's world.
Problems take a back seat once the music comes on. It is transcendental and captivating, as the nectar of melody meets the urge for freedom. The former comes up and dances on "Rivers State Suite" with African rhythms coursing through its veins. The horn lines are silken and sinuous as they express the melody; the beat, carved on percussion, is bouncy and adds impact to the emotional pitch. The three movements form a seamless and attractive whole as they drive the pulse into an ecstatic realm.
"Free Forms 1-4" opens the door to a wider panorama, as perception casts away fetters and lets the musicians rove high and wide. But as they do so they don't lose focus, making their inventions both dramatic and earthy. Caterwauling horns and bebop riffs add to the punch, but credit Smith with a sense of humorhe knits the four movements with some constructed melodies. He closes out the suite with a spoken word dramatization against a soprano sax line that blends cool linearity with bent notes before the rest come in to add explosive tangents.
Now that the music has finally been released, it is time to indulge and drink deep from its cup.
Track Listing: Lock the Toilet Door; Rivers State Suite; The Hungarian Gypsy Song; One More Lick for Harold Vick; Free Forms 1-4.
Personnel: John Carlton: trumpet and flugelhorn; Cecil Bridgewater: trumpet and flugelhorn; Joe Daley: euphonium; Jack Jeffers: bass trombone; Craig Rivers: soprano saxophone; James Stewart: tenor saxophone; Douglas Yates: alto saxophone; Andrew Lamb: tenor saxophone soloist (2); Claire Daly: baritone saxophone; Jaribu Shahid: bass violin; Yoham "Chiqui" Ortiz: guitar; Elusegun Sangofemi: African percussion; Jose Abreu: African percussion; Lloyd Haber: drums, vibraphone and percussion; Warren Smith: drums, vibraphone and percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.