Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Daniel Smith: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Kalamazoo" CD/LP/Track Review Kalamazoo
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Hybrid" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrid
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Surface of Inscription" CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017

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!