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Tommy Smith on Sunday 8th September 2019
Tommy Smith is one of the world’s leading saxophonists. A presence on the world jazz scene since his teenage years, when he toured the world with vibes virtuoso Gary Burton’ Whiz Kids quintet, Smith can draw on almost four decades of professional playing experience at the highest level.
Each of his solo concerts is unique, with the programme chosen to suit the venue’s acoustics and atmosphere. Ballads from his greatest influence, John Coltrane, in whose honour Smith formed his current quartet, and the Duke Ellington band book invariably feature. So, too can, melodies from the evergreen jazz standards repertoire and airs from his long-term engagement with the folk tradition and his recent work with leading Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes. The Nordic influence of Smith’s years spent touring and recording with Norwegian bass master Arild Andersen also plays a part.
Working with the natural sound in the room and no amplification, Smith can create grooving momentum and spontaneously call up a flow of ideas that showcase his outstanding tonal range – including a flute-like, deeply personal keening – and the formidable technique that he always puts at the service of the music to create an intimate conversation with the audience.
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