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Hal Smith


Hal Smith took up drumming in 1963. He listened to classic jazz drummers such as Ben Pollack, Nick Fatool, Wayne Jones, and Fred Higuera in person and later took lessons from Jake Hanna. Hal has also been inspired by the recordings of Dave Tough, Big Sid Catlett, Zutty Singleton, Jo Jones, Vic Berton, Andrew Hillaire, Ray Bauduc, Gene Krupa, George Wettling, Kaiser Marshall, Stan King, Harry Dial, Minor Hall, Wally Bishop and many others. He claims "Chicago Style Jazz" as his favorite type of music, but also enjoys listening to and playing "New Orleans," "New York" and "Kansas City" styles. Hal has played with some of the greatest jazz musicians from the classic jazz, swing and traditional jazz revival eras, including Wild Bill Davison, Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Bud Freeman, Peanuts Hucko, Ralph Sutton, Eddie Miller, George Van Eps, Milt Hinton, Dick Wellstood, Maxine Sullivan, Dick Cary, Vic Dickenson, Jack Lesberg, Art Hodes, Doc Cheatham, Turk Murphy, Bob Helm, Wally Rose, Bill Napier, Burt Bales, Ellis Horne, "Papa Ray" Ronnei, Percy and Willie Humphrey, Ed "Montudie" Garland, Alton Purnell, Andy Blakeney, Frank Chace, Bob Havens, Pete Fountain, George Probert, Pat Yankee, Kenny Davern, Scott Hamilton, Dave McKenna, Dick Hyman, Eddie Higgins, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jon-Erik Kellso, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Jim Galloway, John Sheridan, Randy Reinhart, Allan Vache', John Coccuzi, Ken Peplowski and Ed Polcer. His band credits include the Butch Thompson Trio, Dukes of Dixieland, Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band, South Frisco Jazz Band, Davern-Wilber Summit Reunion, Marty Grosz's Orphan Newsboys, Original Salty Dogs, Hall Brothers Jazz Band, Dixieland Rhythm Kings, Silver Leaf Jazz Band, West End Jazz Band, Magnolia Jazz Band, Golden State Jazz Band, Chicago Rhythm, Waldo's Gutbucket Syncopators, Golden Eagle Jazz Band and more


Article: Live Review

Kris Tokarski Trio At The Jazz Corner

Read "Kris Tokarski Trio At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

Kris Tokarski Trio The Jazz Corner A Tribute To Lester Young And Pee Wee Russell Hilton Head Island, SC January 18 and 19, 2019 Kris Tokarski is a dedicated young pianist keeping the New Orleans and Chicago jazz traditions alive in a modern sophisticated style. His return to ...


Article: Album Review

Floyd Domino's All-Stars: Boogie Minor

Read "Boogie Minor" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On the debut album as leader of his Texas-based sextet (enlarged to seven-strong on seven numbers by the reliable vocalist Emily Gimble), veteran pianist Floyd Domino plays his trademark Western swing leavened with large doses of blues, boogie, stride and barrelhouse. There's a touch of jazz secreted therein too, but no matter what one calls it, ...


On the Levee Jazz Band - Swinging New Orleans Jazz For Dancing - Or Just Listening!

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2018
Track listing: Original Dixieland One-Step Wang Wang Blues Beale Street Blues Wolverine Blues Maple Leaf Rag Milneburg Joys At A Georgia Camp Meeting Savoy Blues Washington & Lee Swing Aunt Hagar’s Blues Down Home Rag Yellow Dog Blues Royal Garden Blues Panama


Article: Live Review

Live From The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head Island - Roundup

Read "Live From The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head Island - Roundup" reviewed by Martin McFie

Joe Gransden & Kenny Banks The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SCFebruary 2, 2018 Joe Gransden returned to The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head-Jazz Island February second and third, accompanied by pianist/composer Kenny Banks. Gransden is well-known on the island for his sixteen-piece big band performances, but there was a special ...


News: Radio

Last Call Late Night Jam This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

Last Call Late Night Jam This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

Often at late night jam sessions, when the bartender is about to give “last call," the best jazz of the evening can be heard and savored. Those who stick around get rewarded with some of the hardest swinging, most creative music there is. It was on a night like this, at the end of the Sacramento ...


News: Radio

Ben Pollack on Riverwalk Jazz This Week

Ben Pollack on Riverwalk Jazz This Week

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, Jim Cullum Jazz Band drummer Hal Smith joins host David Holt to talk about Ben Pollack's often overlooked contribution to jazz. The show is heard on public radio stations nationwide, distributed by Public Radio International, and can also be heard on XM/Sirius sattelite radio and streamed on-demand from the Riverwalk Jazz ...


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