Jazzitalia - Daniel Smith : The Swingin' Bassoon
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Guild Gmbh 2007
Daniel Smith
The Swingin' Bassoon

1. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You [Washington/Bassman]
2.Well You Needn't [Thelonious Monk]
3. Hay Burner [Count Basie (21 agosto 1904, 26 aprile 1984)/Sammy Nestico]
4. Scrapple from the Apple [Charlie Parker (Kansas City, 29 agosto 1920 – New York, 12 marzo 1955)]
5. Mood Indigo [Duke Ellington (29 aprile 1899 - 24 maggio 1974)]
6. Summer Samba [Marcos Valle]
7. Out of Nowhere [Eddie Heyman]
8. St. Thomas [Sonny Rollins]
9. I Remember You [Schertzinger/Mercer]
10. Home At Last [Hank Mobley]
11. A Night In Tunisia [Dizzy Gillespie/Frank Paparelli]

Daniel Smith - Bassoon
Martin Bejerano - Piano
John Sullivan - Bass
Ludwig Afonso - Drums

A celebrated player in the classical field who stands out for his virtuosity, Daniel Smith distinguishes himself in this album, not just as an instrumentalist, but also in his versions of these jazz standards. In this new recording, released on a European label, Smith stamps his personal signature on these pieces with brand new interpretations of 11 well-known standards as well as some Blue Note repertoire.

ith elegant and sinuous solos, clean and distinct with their linear phrasing, and with an extremely personal style, the pieces are sustained harmonically by wonderful backing, thanks to Martin Bejerano and John Sullivan (respectively piano and double-bass player of the Roy Haynes' band), as well as the essential and discreet drumming of Ludwig Afonso (currently drummer for Spyro Gyra); allowing maximum expressive freedom in distinct improvisations and with an identifiable and personal sound.

His playing stands out with refinements, use of chromatics, dynamics, and pleasing unpredictability.

Between musical ideas of wonderful originality, Smith has a way of extending his own musical language, whether in lyrical or swinging pieces, revealing a versatile talent inspired by, and utilizing, different styles and traditions from piece to piece, skillfully keeping a balance between form and emotionalism.

The fluidity of his musical language keeps the improvisations from becoming mundane and vague, such as in the atmosphere he creates with the Monk and Ellington pieces. Smith defines their artistic character with clear and concise articulations, a focused sound, and with opportunities to utilize melodic fragments, sequences of pauses, and shortened notes drawing on a profound and sunny musical sensibility.

His interpretations bring to life to the impressionism of "Mood Indigo" and the extroverted character of "Well You Needn't', recreating their styles and capturing their essential character; while at the same time, avoiding unnecessary ornaments or becoming complacent in musical ideas...and above all, in possession of a solid and flowing creativity.

There is also much to commend in his rendition of 'I Remember You', with imaginative ideas created within a sensual flowing of this medium tempo piece. Here we find solos alternating between unexpected excursions into chromatics and then on to much more straight-forward phrases, all with a coherence and logic, as well as a strong and secure technique, while deliberately avoiding showing off.

It is well known that sometimes in jazz, notes might slip here and there, especially in respect to some of the selections featured on this album. But in Daniel Smith's improvisations, there are no such isolated moments, nor temptations to force ideas, or excessively accentuate the shape of phrases.

Daniel Smith reaches in his playing a level of naturalness with pathos, spirit and with much to praise.

Fabrizio Ciccarelli for Jazzitalia

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Publishing Date: 09/11/2008

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