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Derek Smith

San Francisco Bay Area Musician Derek Smith has been entertaining audiences for more than 10 years through his innovative music that combines the melodic brightness of the Caribbean steel drum with the driving rhythms of Latin Jazz. Smith's unique sound is inspired by legendary musicians like mambo king Tito Puente, Latin Jazz vibraphone great Cal Tjader, and calypso master Lord Kitchener. The influence of such renown players has led Smith to create an original musical experience that can be described as soulful and joyous.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Ken Peplowski/Bucky Pizzarelli Quintet at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola

Read "Ken Peplowski/Bucky Pizzarelli Quintet at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Ken Peplowski/Bucky Pizzarelli QuintetDizzy's Club Coca-ColaNew York, NYNovember 23, 2010 When the dust has settled on Halloween, the leaves have all fallen off of the trees and the temperature takes a dip, it's clear that Thanksgiving is only a short while away. At Thanksgiving, people come together with family, reunite ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Aaron Germain: Before You Go

Read "Before You Go" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The key to the eclecticism of Before You Go, bassist Aaron Germain's first album as leader, can be found in his stated aim as a musician: to be “picky about quality, not genre." Germain's ten original tunes take in straightforward hard bop, blues, Latin and funk styles--and the quality is always high. Throughout the album, Germain's ...

Latin Expression

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2009
Track listing: Mambo Inn; Poinciana; Mi Cancion; Alpinos; El Cumbanchero; Partido Alto; Son de la Loma; Besame Mama; So Danco Samba; Cubano Chant; Sempre Sim; Here We Go.

ARTICLE: LIVE FROM NEW YORK

Django Reinhardt Festival, Steve Gadd, Steve Grossman, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ken Peplowski

Read "Django Reinhardt Festival, Steve Gadd, Steve Grossman, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ken Peplowski" reviewed by Martin Longley

The 10th Anniversary Django Reinhardt NY FestivalBirdlandNovember 4, 2009 This six-night residency celebrated a decade of Djangofests at Birdland, where the principle aim is to see how many Reinhardt guitar disciples can be jammed onstage at any one time. Over the years, the organizers, Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta, have ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Derek Smith: Latin Expression

Read "Latin Expression" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The title of Derek Smith's Latin Expression falls somewhat short of the actual experience. It does not even begin to describe the utter joy that arises from the resonant, fluttering, dancing music that swathes the record. Perhaps “Latin Explosion" might have been more appropriate? Steel panist/vibraphonist Smith plunges, body and soul, into a veritable carnival of ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Derek Smith Unites Steel Pan and Vibraphone in an Album That Captures the Musical Expression of Latin Jazz Masters

Derek Smith Unites Steel Pan and Vibraphone in an Album That Captures the Musical Expression of Latin Jazz Masters

In his second album, Derek Smith pays tribute to legendary musicians who developed the infectious rhythms and sounds that have come to define Latin jazz. The spirit of this genre is innovation, and Smith exemplifies that spirit in Latin Expression by uniting the melodic brightness of the steel drum with the soulful resonance of the vibraphone. ...

Venus Records

Read "Venus Records" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Venus Records may be sparsely represented in North American record stores, though it has built quite a loyal following among jazz aficionados who frequent online music sources. Tetsuo Hara, the owner and founder of the label, has long been a jazz fan: “When I was a very young man, I listened to many 78-rpm records that ...

The Piano Giants at Bob Haggart's 80th Birthday Party

Label: Arbors Records
Released: 2003
Track listing: Love For Sale, Sunday, In a Mist, Tea for Two, I'm Through with Love, It Could Happen to You, Honeysuckle Rose, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Alligator Crawl, Somebody Stole My Gal, Fascinatin' Rhythm, Sleep, The Jitterbug Waltz

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Derek Smith, Dick Hyman and Ralph Sutton: The Piano Giants at Bob Haggart's 80th Birthday Party

Read "The Piano Giants at Bob Haggart's 80th Birthday Party" reviewed by AAJ Staff

These selections were recorded in 1994 at the very first jazz party produced by Mat and Rachel Domber, owners of Arbors Records. The party was in honor of multi-talented bassist-arranger Bob Haggart's 80th birthday. I was present to hear these selectios presented to the live audience, so this review is a personal delight to ...


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