184

Louis Smith: Once In a While

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Louis Smith: Once In a While Trumpeter Louis Smith’s only major claim to fame has been two late ‘50s dates he cut for Blue Note. Then his propensity for musical pedagogy led him to the University of Michigan, where he spent many years quietly teaching and inspiring youngsters. Back in 1978, a renewed career as a recording artist came in the guise of a contract with the Danish SteepleChase label, briefly interrupted in the ‘80s by a return to teaching. Now, Smith finds himself retired and that has given him more time to concentrate on his trumpet work once again.

Cut in Denmark during Smith’s summer vacation in 1998, Once In a While is representative of the kind of bebop session that is part and parcel of Smith’s time-honored approach, although the line-up is a novel one not used previously by the trumpeter. Guitarist Doug Raney is the ringer in this piano-less group that also includes SteepleChase regular Keith Copeland on drums. The quartet hits a relaxed, but resolute groove on a set of eight golden standards, including a tip of the hat to Louis’ fellow trumpeters- namely through versions of Miles Davis’ "Tune Up" and Clifford Brown’s "Sandu."

Never much of a technician, Smith still has the ability to construct intelligent solos that tell a story and his sound is marked by a round and softened timbre. Raney should have received equal billing here, because his rich and melodic lines are some of the best moments to be found among this generous offering of music. Cutting to the chase, this no-nonsense affair is a worthy addition to Smith’s burgeoning recorded career. And who says there ain't life after retirement?


Track Listing: Just Friends, Once In a While, Over the Rainbow, Tune Up, Don't Blame Me, Once I Had a Secret Love, Sandu, There Is No Greater Love (70:26)

Personnel: Louis Smith- trumpet, Doug Raney- guitar, Hugo Rasmussen- bass, Keith Copeland- drums

Title: Once In a While | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Invention of Knowledge" CD/LP/Track Review Invention of Knowledge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Double Septet" CD/LP/Track Review Double Septet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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