195

Neal Smith: Swingin' Is Believin'

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Neal Smith: Swingin' Is Believin' Swingin' is Believin' is evidence that Neal Smith is well aware of the Indian proverb "A good drummer listens as much as he plays. Not to say that Smith is a wallflower. Au contraire, he has that much-desired talent of solidifying an organized sound while driving the music in interesting directions. Coupled with an obvious connection to pianist Rick Germanson and bassist Michael Hawkins, Smith, pianist Cyrus Chestnut's first-call drummer, has elected to share the spotlight with no less than five hornmen to present a session that swings and bops as well as any in recent memory.

"Reality of the Hidden Truth, composed in the wake of the shocking Amadou Diallo killing, opens things up with an all-out assault of hot polyrhythmic complexity as the great Latin percussionist Renato Thoms mixes it up with Smith and Hawkins. Germanson's percussive piano work promotes the piece's intensity, as do Abraham Burton's quickly moving tenor solo and the reverent horn voicings from altoist Andrew Beals and trombonist Vincent Gardner. In addition, two other Smith originals, "Salt Fish, with its march-like rhythm and somewhat out Hart alto work, and the triple horn delight of "Twice More Once reveal Smith's impressive composing.

Germanson and altoist Antonio Hart swing it to perfection on the pianist's "Game Theory, while Beal's alto sweetly caresses the smoky nooks and crannies of Germanson's other contribution, the bluesy "In the Cut. Mark Gross lends a touchingly pensive soprano sax to the lovely piano ballad "I Have the Feeling I Have Been Here Before and Gardner's t-bone drenches the gospel piece "Lord I Give Myself to Thee in the blues.

"Bop Like is a multi-part adventure that has Hart's alto burning against a full speed rhythm until Hawkins and Smith combine with Germanson for the essence of understated cool. Hart's alto lovingly pays homage to Bud Powell on Wayne Shorter's "This is for Albert, and a bonus video brings NYC's hip Smoke venue into your home.


Track Listing: Reality Of The Hidden Truth; Game Theory; I Have The Feeling I've Been Here Before; Salt Fish; Twice More Once; In The Cut; Lord I Give Myself To You; This Is For Albert; Bop-Like; Bonus Video: Braedon's Blues.

Personnel: Neal Smith: drums; Andrew Beals: alto saxophone; Mark Gross: alto and soprano saxophones; Antonio Hart: alto saxophone; Abraham Burton: tenor saxophone; Vincent Gardner: trombone; Richard Germanson: piano; Michael Hawkins: bass; Renato Thoms: percussion.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: NASMusic | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Gurutopia" CD/LP/Track Review Gurutopia
by James Nadal
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Pass It On" CD/LP/Track Review Pass It On
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Brückenshlag" CD/LP/Track Review Brückenshlag
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 9, 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!