David Smith Quintet | Fresh Sound New Talent - Distr. IRD
Review by Maurizio Zerbo - translation by Maria Gravish
This is an excellent CD that well represents David Smith’s brilliant expression. David is an emerging Canadian jazz trumpet
player. His fragmented and irregular phrasing is at the service of a beautiful warm and round sound, with magnificently
balanced solos ranging between tradition and contemporary, swinging between the rough nervousness of the post-be bop
language and the frenetic rhythms of the US metropolis.
To all this, add non flat writing over conventional solutions, in search of free and open forms instead of, like a big thing today,
hiding comfortably in latin arrangements. An all-around trumpet player that resounds of the best Woody Shaw, here proposes
an agile and dynamic journey, winning rhythmically.
A pianoless formula formed by a wonderfully talented and compacted group focusing their attention on the great energetic
propulsive strength of the rhythm section and with the interesting cross exchanges between the guitar of Nate Radley and
the saxophone of the already well known Seamus Blake.
Then, there are some unexpected “solutions” on both melodic and rhythmic levels (“Soul Eyes”) proudly stated by the leader,
whose destiny is to become one of the best jazz trumpet players of this decade. Just listening to the one solo on the third
tune (“Tubicinate”) would be enough to fall in love with a trumpet having a very well defined personality, always able to
impose a determined jump (interval) to the sound.
The original Italian text is here
All About Jazz Italia, March 2007
player Dave Smith? Originally from
Toronto, Canada, he moved to
New York at the end of the 90’s.
Since then he has been active in
the “underground” scene. He is
sessions, composing, and playing
in a range of groups from trios to
big bands. His harmonies are
sophisticated, his technique
precise permitting him to use
many intervals and a general
musical sense reminiscent of
Booker Little. His first album
featuring his own compositions,
“Circumstance”, has just been
released on the Fresh Sound New
Talent label, with Seamus Blake
(tenor), Nate Radley (guitar),
David Ephross (bass) and Mark
Jazzman, March 2007
Jazzflits - March 11, 2007
Translation by Lindy
Translation by Arne Bock
that countless of young musicians, for a short
or longer time, settle down in New York City.
They then often study with already settled
down musicians. Trumpet player David Smith
The Modilization (an evolving worldwide is a
Canadian and lives since 2000 in New York.
There he studied for his Masters of Arts
Degree in Jazz Performance at the Aaron
Copeland School of Music. This CD
"Circumstance" is his debut CD. And watch,
Smith shows to have a talented technique and
tone, with which he tastefully opens/attacks
his bloody beautiful compositions. The rest of
the group supports the leader precisely. Tenor
saxophone player Seamus Blake is undisturbed
on his way to the top. Complex riddles, from
high to low, keeps the attention. Good
minded cooperation is also shown from guitar
player Nate Radley, bassist David Ephross and
the attentive drummer Mark Ferber. It is an
Jazz Hot - June 2007
said that finally, here is
someone who changes clearly
from obligatory tributes of
young trumpet players to the
electricity of Miles Davis or
the straight ahead Freddie
The atmosphere with the
guitar evokes Billy Bauer,
with momnets a little soft but
at the same time, the
drumming ultra rich and the
lines of bass signal some more
contemporary moods, besides
Nate Radley himelf is more
like Abercrombie and
Metheny. In this case it’s
agreeable, Smith (who comes
from Canada but resides
today in New York) plays in a
style which is a cross
between Woody Shaw,
Booker Little, Kenny Dorham,
and certainly Dave Douglas.
His serious lyricism meets well
with Seamus Blake who is
equally an expressive
musician, but sooner of the
obscure side of jazz.
In this context, a little cold
but poetic is some bebop
(Tubicinate) and some very
beautiful flights of trumpet,
mastered and musical
(Circumstance) are found.
There are even some leanings
toward the waltz and
melancholy (Waiting). With
personality a little secretive,
in places sometimes
mournful, constitutes a
beautiful affirmation, which
succeeds in being neither
pretentious nor subdued.
Downbeat June 2010 Editor's Picks
BY FRANK ALKYER
David Smith Quintet, Anticipation (Brooklyn Jazz Underground)
Anticipation is a perfect title for the latest release from the David Smith Quintet. Every note on this record is played with a hunger
and burst that’s missing from much of jazz today. Smith, a Canadian-born trumpeter living in New York, has power and beautiful tone
on his instrument, and he’s a fine composer, too. A fixture on New York’s underground scene, Smith has surrounded himself here
with like-minded souls who create music that’s on the edge but surprisingly comfortable, too. Smith, saxophonist Kenji Omae and
guitarist Nate Radley have a natural musical affinity. They play easily off of each other’s musical ideas, weaving beautiful lines and
interplay. Meanwhile, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Greg Ritchie provide a solid rhythmic backdrop, with Ritchie dropping in his
own sonic bombs and sweet touches. High points on the recording are the title track and “Bittersweet” (both Smith originals), a
version of “All Or Nothing At All” that’s quite different from any you’ve heard, and a Radley original called “Carillon” that serves as a
jumping-off point for some of the strongest soloing on the recording.
Jazz Times June 2010
David Smith Quintet Anticipation BJU
By Jonathan Goldman
With Anticipation by the David Smith Quintet comes another release from the Brooklyn Jazz Underground label, “an independent and
artist-run label committed to creative and adventurous contemporary improvised music”. True to the label’s namesake, the present
release features a number of conventions that have become synonymous with the Brooklyn jazz scene: odd meters, complex forms,
parallel harmonies, inventive originals, modern covers, and superb musicianship.
The disc opens with the title track, a restless straight-eighth tune with each chord anticipating the resolution of the following
measure. Smith and saxophonist Kenji Omae navigate the ever-shifting chord changes with ease displaying a perfect balance
between technical prowess and melodicism.
As is the tenor for most of the album, “Bittersweet” and “Alone” are both minor tunes with a certain dark quality and poignancy.
Smith explains that the impetus for these compositions was his feelings towards fatherhood and from being apart from his wife and
daughter. Guitarist Nate Radley contributes the beautiful “Carillon,” a simple diatonic melody played by the two horns, which serves
Alongside two more Smith originals are covers of the jazz standard “All or Nothing At All” and John Coltrane’s “Satellite”. Rather than
altering the repertoire beyond all recognition, which is so often the case with contemporary jazz covers, Smith’s arrangements offer
subtle updates on these classic tunes. The Altman/Lawrence melody for example, gets a triadic reharmonization, while the tricky
Coltrane tune is made even more challenging (at least for us mortals) in 7/4. No matter the time signature, tempo, or style the
ensemble is held together by the outstanding rhythm section led by fellow Canadian ex-pat Greg Ritchie on drums.
The album’s biggest drawback has nothing to do with the music or the playing, but rather with the audio recording itself. Although it
is the nature of brass instruments to cut through the ensemble and be featured melodically, the trumpet and sax are mixed well
above the rhythm section. At certain points, I had to adjust the volume setting on my speakers just to hear the guitar.
As far as the music on Anticipation is concerned, David Smith and his cohorts deliver a progressive and flawless performance. If the
recent string of high quality releases by BJU records is any indication, it would seem that the Brooklyn jazz scene (i.e. current jazz
mecca) is thriving.
Anticipation - David Smith Quintet (BJU Records)
Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records keeps releasing fine recordings by younger musicians who have settled into the city in the
shadows of Manhattan. Smith, a Canadian-born trumpeter with a clean sound and knack for writing good melodies, is a busy
musician, working with ensembles of varying sizes ranging from Darcy James Argue's 18-member Secret Society to Harry Connick's
Band to the quartet he co-leads with flautist Jamie Baum.
This, his second release as a leader, features the solid rhythm section of Gary Wang (bass) and Greg Ritchie (drums), the strong guitar
work of Nate Radley and a front line of Smith's trumpet and Kenji Omae (tenor saxophone). The sound of this ensemble and several of
the arrangements are reminiscent of bassist Ben Allison's recent groups - one hears it in the blending of trumpet and saxophone and
the use of the guitar. That said, it's not hard to be seduced by the classical opening and swinging solo sections of Radley's "Carillon"
or the rockish intent of Smith's subtly powerful "Bittersweet." The latter tune rides atop Ritchie's pounding drums but there is plenty
of dynamic variety and a melodic line that has the trumpet and saxophone playing lines that weave in and out.
Other highlights feature the high-energy romp through John Coltrane's "Satellite" ( great drum and rhythm guitar work),, the
medium-tempo blues "The Question" with its melody line that reminds this listener of Andrew Hill and the long (10 minute +)
multi-sectioned "Alone" that close the program. Smith's trumpet work is impressive throughout - there are moments when his fluid
playing hearkens back to the work of Clifford Brown and the classical playing of Wynton Marsalis. Omae is more subdued player yet
displays a melodic side and is a perfect sonic fit for the trumpet.
"Anticipation" has grown on me with each listen - there's a maturity and a sense of exploration that one might not hear the first time
through but give this CD multiple listens and its rewards are bountiful. For more information, go to www.davesmithtrumpet.com.
Jazz Prospecting - May 2010
By Tom Hull
David Smith Quintet: Anticipation (2009 , Bju'ecords): AMG lists 50 Dave or David Smiths, none obviously the right one, which
makes no sense. Trumpet player, from Canada, based in Brooklyn, second album -- first was a quintet with Seamus Blake on Fresh
Sound New Talent, Circumstance, which I should have flagged as an HM but somehow escaped -- plus thirty-some side credits.
Kenji Omae replaces Blake on saxophone, and new bass and drums, but guitarist Nate Radley is a significant carryover. Crackling
postbop, especially the trumpet. Tough name to make one with, but if I were running AMG I'd flag him in bold. B+(***)
Impetus (BJU Records)
I’ve been an admirer of Toronto-raised and Brooklyn-based David Smith’s trumpet playing and writing for some time. Disclosure: I’
ve played twice with him in the last five years when he’s visited Ottawa, when his smart and robust improvising and well-crafted
compositions had me hanging on for dear life.
Smith’s third album is a really cohesive collection of six originals for his group that includes Dan Pratt on saxophones, Nate Radley
on guitar, Gary Wang on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums.
The music on Impetus is really allowed to bloom, never more so than on the opener Moments. Here’s a live version from Smith’s CD
release in late May.
Its followup, Bond, picks up where Moments leaves off, and allows the album’s initial patient vibe to evolve and grow. Capping the
disc’s first half is the coursing, high-energy quasi-minor-blues The Toaster, which features Smith at his most brisk and incisive and
Pratt, who switched from tenor to alto saxophone, charging through the tune. The three tunes make up a suite of sorts that
reflects Smith’s seriousness and his interest in creating a prolonged experience for himself, his musicians and their listeners.
Starr St. is the disc’s second groovy charger with an ear-catching, undulating melody. It builds in intensity, with Pratt on tenor and
Radley spinning intricate, interesting lines and a brash, gritty send-off featuring Smith and then Pinciotti.
The tune Seven is an epic unto itself that gets its strictness from Smith having adapted the second movement of Beethoven’s
Seventh Symphony for his own purpose, and it gets its slow, earthiness from who knows where. Regardless of its inspirations,
Smith and his bandmates dive right in.
Closing the album is the slow and moody Intersection, which finds Smith and company jumping off from the tune’s initial
plaintiveness to arrive, 10 minutes later, at a rousing, tension-releasing conclusion.
The jazz-nerd info for this album is that it was recorded live to two-track, with the quintet in a single room, and mastered directly
to tape. So, edit- and overdub-free, Impetus captures an elite band creating high-level art in their most natural state.
Rainer Bratfisch, Jazz Podium 10/15
(translation by Google Translate)
The trumpeter David Smith has brought
together once again the main cast of his
quintet for his new CD: the tenor and alto
saxophonist Dan Pratt, the guitarist Nate
Radley, the bassist Gary Wang and drummer
Anthony Pinciotti. With "Impetus" Smith
succeeds again a perfect balance between
solo and collective improvisations. At the
latest with this third CD he has gained a place
in the phalanx of the world's best trumpet
player. He is a master of subtle suspense,
unexpected melodic transitions and sound
determinant, considered placed solos. The
first three pieces of the CD - "Moments",
"Bond" and "The Toaster" form a 23-minute
suite. They build on each other, the tracks
evolve organish from the predecessor-tune
the transitions are fluid. In "Seven" Smith
harmonies quoted from the Allegretto in the
2nd movement of Beethoven's Symphony 7.
"Starr St" is an elegy to an extremely
geruntergekommene area in Bushwick,
Brooklyn. The quintet has no reservations,
neither the rock nor the radio. All recordings
estanden live and analog audio in octaves, in a
single room. The titles have been mastered
directly from the tapes. From this, a result
very organic, authentic sound and a band
dynamics that carry the music of the quintet
"Impetus" is the 3rd release (all Quintet albums) from trumpeter/composer David Smith and 2nd for BJU Records. Guitarist Nate
Radley has been in the group since its inception in 2005 and is an excellent foil for the leader. Filling out the ensemble is bassist Gary
Wang (who's also featured on "Anticipation", Smith's 1st BJU disk), Dan Pratt (alto and tenor saxophones), and Anthony Pinciotti
Smith's compositions all have good, strong, melodies, and intelligent voicings (listen to the blend of trumpet, guitar and tenor sax on
the opening and closing themes of "Bond") plus he leaves plenty of room for solos. The insistent drive of "Starr St." is created by the
rhythm section but pushed forward by the guitar Radley provides a second solo voice with Pratt's tenor then goes into overdrive for
the trumpet solo, his raucous chords provoking Pinciotti to drive harder. "Seven", which gets its harmony from a movement of
Beethoven's "Seventh Symphony", reminds this listener of the driving rock tunes of John Lennon (especially "Happiness is a Warm
Gun") - Smith's solo pulsates forward, pulling the rhythm section with him. When he hands off the solo to Pratt, the intensity lessens
for just a bit before picking up again. "The Toaster" burns, from the fiery rhythm section to the rapid-fire theme to the blistering
trumpet solo and incendiary tenor spotlight.
The final track, "Intersection", opens with a sweet trumpet melody over bluesy guitar chords. Smith stays in front for over 5 minutes
of the song (total time = 10:45) before giving way to a fine guitar solo. Radley starts by playing chords before going into fast
single-note runs yet always returns to chords. The trumpeter builds the intensity towards the climax, adding the saxophone to push
forward over the hard-edged work of the rhythm section.
There's much to like on "Impetus", from the excellent compositions to the fine interactions of a working band. Everyone gets the
opportunity to shine especially guitarist Nate Radley who is the lynchpin on the majority of the cuts. Give David Smith a close listen,
it's worth your time.