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INTERVIEW

Walter Smith III: Jazz Explorer

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Walter Smith stands straight when he raises his tenor sax to his mouth to embark on a solo, or play enthralling, serpentine, contrapuntal lines in unison with band mates like Ambrose Akinmusire. [Check out “Confessions To My Unborn Daughter" from Akinmusire's When the Heart Emerges Glistening.] It's a muscular sound that emerged from his horn. Authoritative. More than that, his improvisational path when he solos is unfettered and unpredictable. He's praised by his peers as a saxophonist who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Laurent Coq / Walter Smith III: The LaFayette Suite

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In The LaFayette Suite, two exceptional musicians--French pianist Laurent Coq and American saxophonist Walter Smith III--continue the spirit of collaboration which interestingly enough began around 1777 between French nobleman / military officer Marquis de Lafayette and President George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. In a suite funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the French American Jazz Exchange program, the project's historical inspiration brings to life the adventures of LaFayette, an aristocrat, decorated soldier, and ardent abolitionist whose ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Walter Smith III: Still Casual

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There are countless musicians who perform but few that can make their instruments breathe as melodically as saxophonist Walter Smith III. In the opening track “Foretold You" from his release Still Casual, it's as if his horn is an extension of his thoughts and will--notes burning, graceful and flowing like a stream of ideas. Yet with these obvious abilities Smith is a diligent craftsman whose arduous schedule includes education, tours, and performances within a rotation of rising jazz leaders that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Walter Smith III: III

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While there are many saxophonists warranting greater recognition, Walter Smith III is consistently emerging as an identifiable voice among the masses. He's been making waves, whether performing across the waters in Spain with bassist Paco Charlin; recording in France on drummer Eric Harland's debut, Voyager Live by Night (Space Time, 2010); with trumpeter Christian Scott for 2008's Live at Newport (Concord); or stints with another trumpeter, Terence Blanchard. Smith's third release further reveals his maturation as a ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Walter Smith III

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Meet Walter Smith III: Walter Smith III began playing the saxophone at the age of seven in his hometown of Houston, Texas. At Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, in 1998, Smith received a Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship from IAJE and NFAA; the NFAA Young Talent Award; a full tuition scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music; and a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts medal. Walter graduated from Berklee in 2003 with a degree in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III

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Walter Smith has a whole lot going on here. On this programme of originals and standards, the saxophonist's work is often so far advanced from a harmonic standpoint (in particular) that he manages to carve out his own space in the modern mainstream idiom, and that's no mean feat in itself.

He also likes to take his time, and in these days of often hyperactive-sounding soloists, that's more than welcome, too. He's no apostle of technical display for its own ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III

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Walter Smith III, a striking saxophonist, has entered the arena with this promising debut. A rising horn player, he has performed and shared the stage with a variety of musicians, including jazz veterans (Roy Haynes, Ralph Peterson), pop stars (Destiny's Child, Lauren Hill), and contemporary jazz luminaries (Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran). Like recordings by other younger artists, this disc integrates a variety of styles and influences into a jazz framework, creating an open avenue in which Smith ...


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