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

| Record Label: SteepleChase Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Rags And Roots" CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Breaking Point" CD/LP/Track Review Breaking Point
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!