184

Louis Smith: Once In a While

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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 Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "In Praise of Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review In Praise of Shadows
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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