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Sean Smith is a talented bassist who has provided his music expertise for the likes of Carole Sloan and Jan Leder. A very busy man is Sean Smith. Here Smith releases a live collection of eight originals and one standard performed by his quartet. The ride here is crisp and clean.
Sean Smith’s compositional style is firmly fixed in the Post Bop movement, with the exception of straight-ahead drumming. His upbeat “Pipe Dream” and “Blues for Beans” are cleverly angular and intricate. His ballads “A Not So Sad Folk Song” and “Secret Ballad/Song Without A Lyric” show him a sensitive composer as well as performer (he opens the latter with a quite pretty arco solo). His sidemen, all Chiaroscuro Records regulars are well known to him and compliment his overall soft touch. Bill Charlap, who has led several dates with Smith accompanying him on bass, is a perfect accompanist on piano (Charlap was featured in Janet Sommer's March “Eye & Ear” column at All About Jazz ), while alto player Allen Mezquida swings with a pretty, sweet tone.
The sonics of the disc are very good as is the quantity of music provided (70+ minutes). Chiaroscuro Records was one of the last stomping grounds for Earl Hines and Mary Lou Williams. Sean Smith finds himself appropriately is such good company.
Track Listing: Pipe Dream; Minor Peace; A Not So Sad Folk Song; Quiet Debacle; Blues For Beans; Secret Ballad/Song Without A Lyric; Take The Bullet Trane; Enigma; Drop Me Off In Harlem. (Total Time: 74:56)
Personnel: Sean Smith: Bass; Allen Mezquida: Alto Saxophone; Bill Charlap; Ron Vincent: Drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.