4

Daniel Smith: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Daniel Smith: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues All those who can resist reviewing—or reading a review about—a jazz / blues quartet led by a bassoonist, please raise your hands. No one? Very well, then, let us proceed. The bassoonist in question is Daniel Smith, and while his name may be unassuming, it would be good to report that there is nothing ordinary about Smith's prowess on his chosen instrument. Alas . . .

Perhaps the choice of music is partly to blame, but whatever the reason, Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues never really takes off, nor does Smith's unwieldy bassoon generate much heat. In fact, it is his backup crew—pianist Robert Bosscher, bassist Michael O'Brien, drummer Vincent Ector and guests Ron Jackson (guitar), Neil Clarke (percussion) and Greg Lewis (organ)—who lend the session much of its enthusiasm and energy. Props should perhaps be given for even trying to play jazz on a bassoon, but if one is to do so he should at least have something appetizing to bring to the table. Not only are Smith's jazz licks indifferent and unsteady, he seems quite often to be playing out of tune (it's hard to imagine that would be deliberate).

There are two more guests, violinist / violist Efrat Shapira and vocalist Frank Senior, who sings passably on Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" and "Hallelujah I Love Her So." Shapira takes nice solos on Phil Woods' "Eddie's Blues" and Bobby Timmons' "Moanin.'" Other numbers, almost mandatory for a blues session, include Jimmy Forrest's "Night Train," Charles Mingus' "Better Get Hit in Your Soul," Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," Jimmy Smith's "Back at the Chicken Shack" (showcasing Lewis) and Horace Silver's "Senor Blues." Nat Adderley wrote "Hummin,'" Sonny Rollins "Blue Seven," Joe Henderson "Mamacita" (which rings down the curtain with Smith again playing befittingly off-key).

There is at least one other bassoonist who has tried his hand at playing jazz. His name is Errol Buddle, a multi-instrumentalist who was an integral part of the splendid Australian Jazz Quintet back in the '50s. Now there's a guy who could really play jazz bassoon. As far as can be determined, Buddle is still alive and going strong as he approaches his eighty-fifth birthday. A pity he couldn't have been present on Bassoon Blues, as that would have helped it live up to the name Smokin' Hot.


Track Listing: Night Train; Hummin’; Better Get Hit in Your Soul; Back at the Chicken Shack; What’d I Say; Blue Seven; Senor Blues; Hallelujah I Love Her So; C Jam Blues; Eddie’s Blues; Moanin’; Mamacita.

Personnel: Daniel Smith: bassoon; Robert Bosscher: piano; Michael O’Brien: bass; Vincent Ector: drums. Guest artists — Ron Jackson: guitar; Efrat Shapira: violin, viola; Neil Clarke: Latin percussion; Greg “Organ Monk” Lewis: jazz organ; Frank Senior: vocals.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "In The Corner Of The Eye" CD/LP/Track Review In The Corner Of The Eye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Soul Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Tree
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 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!

Buy it!