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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957

Read "Louis Smith: Here Comes Louis Smith – 1957" reviewed by Marc Davis

I'm not a musical snob. I'm not a guy to drop obscure musical names to impress friends and hipsters. But when I come across a name that is undeservedly obscure, I don't mind shouting it out the window. So here's my shout for today: Louis Smith! Chances are you've never heard of Louis Smith. You should. He put out exactly two albums as a Blue Note bandleader, in 1957 and 1958, then disappeared for the next ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Louis Smith: Smithville – Blue Note 1594

Read "Louis Smith: Smithville – Blue Note 1594" reviewed by Marc Davis

Sometimes, thumbing through the old Blue Note catalogue, you wish for something brand new. Something not the usual Jimmy Smith--Lee Morgan--Lou Donaldson--Horace Silver. And then you find it and wonder, “Who is this guy? And what ever happened to him?" Louis Smith is that guy. The trumpeter recorded exactly two Blue Note albums, one in 1957, one in 1958, and then disappeared for 20 years. After listening to the 1958 record, Smithville, I can only wonder ...

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF JAZZ

The Healing Power of Music: Can Jazz Repair a Damaged Brain? The case of trumpeter Louis Smith

Read "The Healing Power of Music:  Can Jazz Repair a Damaged Brain? The case of trumpeter Louis Smith" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The title above is not an abstract statement or a philosophical question. Hence, what follows is not a speculative or metaphysical piece. It is an evaluation of the concrete, experimental data on the merits of music therapy in the treatment of brain injury, particularly one due to a stroke. A stroke or a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is a sudden event, much like a heart attack, due to either an obstruction in the blood flow or hemorrhage in a specific region ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Music Matters and the Blue Note Oddballs

Read "Music Matters and the Blue Note Oddballs" reviewed by Greg Simmons

In its heyday, Blue Note records had a relatively stable roster of musicians. Leaders including saxophonist Hank Mobley, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Horace Silver and saxophonist Lou Donaldson all released lengthy strings of records during recording relationships that were measured in years. Some players, like bassist Paul Chambers, became de facto house musicians for the label, appearing on dozens of titles by a myriad of leaders. Musicians liked the sound that Blue Note delivered, and appreciated owner Alfred Lion's dedication ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Louis Smith: The Bopsmith

Read "The Bopsmith" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

He’s one of the guys you probably never knew was still around. Trumpeter Louis Smith has become the stuff of legend, especially among Blue Note collectors who proudly cherish the two sets for the label that bear his name. In Michigan, where he currently resides, Smith is somewhat of a household name among jazz fans and he’s usually on hand for Detroit’s Ford International Jazz Festival. For many years now, the trumpeter has also been a favorite of SteepleChase producer ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Louis Smith: Soon

Read "Soon" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Fast approaching his 70th birthday, trumpeter Louis Smith made a minor splash with the two Blue Note records he led back in the mid ‘50s, only to then vanish under the cover of jazz pedagogy. To be exact, from 1958 to 1978 Smith did not perform or record as a leader, but was active as an educator in the Detroit area. Then, SteepleChase head Nils Winther brought Smith back to the recording fold in ’78 and a steady stream of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Louis Smith: Once In a While

Read "Once In a While" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

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 ...


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