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Tommy Smith


Tommy Smith "Bezique"featuring Brian Kellock (piano), Tommy Smith (tenor Saxophone)

  1. Bud Powell
  2. Very Early
  3. Never Let Me Go
  4. Come Rain Or Come Shine
  5. The Thrill Is Gone
  6. Ladies In Mercedes
  7. Don’t You Know I Care
  8. Parker 51
  9. Lush Life


Kenny Mathieson (The Scotsman) ***** — “SCOTLAND’S two leading jazz musicians convened for this duo performance at The Hub in Edinburgh in July and played in dazzling and highly inventive fashion on an intriguing mix of standards and contemporary jazz tunes, many of which were not part of their usual repertoire elsewhere. The vivid live recording captures much of the tension, spontaneous energy and exhilarating interplay of ldeas which made it such a memorable occasion.”

Dave Gelly (The Observer) “CD of the Week” — “The duet is the most exposed form in jazz because there’s simply nowhere to hide, and to record a duet live is a risky undertaking. That’s what makes this virtuoso performance, captured at last summer’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival, so impressive.”

Rob Adams (The Herald) **** — “It would be fascinating, in the time-honoured jazz way, to blind date 100 jazz enthusiats without local knowledge and see how many attribute this recording to two Scottish musicians. Recorded at their first live duo date together at Edinburgh International Jazz Festival in July, these nine tracks capture the saxophonist and pianist living up to their reputations and confirms for those present that both were absolutely on their mettle. There’s empathy, maybe even a little benign rivalry, tender romance, flowing, full cry creativity from both players, humour, and musical hooliganism, too, as Kellock takes Bill Evan’s Very Early from waltz to waltzer, and karate chops a glorious take on Steve Swallow’s latin-dancing Ladies In Mercedes. International class? You bet. Footballers get caps for much less.”

Peter Bacon (The Birmingham Post), Favourite CDs of 2003 — “Both men have technique verging on the gargantuan, yet the music on this live recording from The Hub in Edinburgh is never virtuosic for viruosity’s sake. Smith is the complete saxophonist, possessing a tone muscular when needed, and sweet as a nut on the ballads. Kellock does everything a post-Oscar Peterson pianist should.”

John Fordham (The Guardian) — “These are two of the most formidable soloists on the Scottish scene, pretty much in straightahead mode. Saxophonist Smith, as he has demonstrated with the American Joanne Brackeen, is a good duo collaborator with pianists, his more languorous Jan Garbarek-like aspect in other settings put aside in favour of a surging, hard-swinging style. But his formidable range, particularly in sustaining a remarkable purity on long, high sounds, is fully unwrapped on this collection of 11 standards old and new, including traditionals such as Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life, and Steve Swallow’s Ladies in Mercedes – the latter opening with an abstractedly Monkish piano intro from Kellock.”