The U.K. based, “Harrison Smith Quartet” provides substantial correlation to the title of its new CD, as they most effectively delve into the outside and inside of modern jazz with this set consisting of exceptionally strong material. Multi-reedman, Harrison Smith leads his band through a series of intricately devised movements, spanning lushly organized voicings, budding undercurrents and vivid dreamscapes on the opener, “Outside Inside.” However, the musicians’ periodically kick the proceedings into high gear via melodically tinged themes and the lead soloists’ harmoniously constructed unison lines and heated exchanges. Needless to state, this outfit performs with the utmost conviction as they seamlessly blend sonorous arrangements with dashingly executed fireworks.
The quartet ventures into free-jazz territory during “Cliffhanger/”For U,” whereas they pursue a Latin vibe amid Smith’s radiant tenor sax work and pianist Liam Noble’s lyrically charged soloing on the piece titled, “On The Tiles.” Hence, Outside Inside constitutes a welcome if somewhat unexpected surprise, as the band is quite well known in Europe yet largely under recognized here on these American shores. Highly recommended.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.