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Tommy Smith

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Tommy Smith's Karma / PELbO

Tommy Smith’s latest band Karma opened this concert, drummer Alyn Coskerblasting in for a full-on assault. Karma – also the name of Smith’s latest album – sees the saxophonist in jazz-rock mode. Joining Smith and Cosker were pianistSteve Hamilton and bass guitarist Kevin Glasgow. Cosker provided the motive force – a powerful drummer, he’s equally […]

Tommy Smith's inadvertent radicalism

Scots saxophonist Tommy Smith returns to his and some other jazz roots with his new album Karma as well as paradoxically making a perhaps inadvertently radical statement. He tours the music in Scotland in late June and later elsewhere (see below).

"Visceral precision and imaginative interplay"

Karma,  Spartacus ***** Tommy Smith’s new quartet includes pianist/keyboardist Steve Hamilton and drummer Alyn Cosker off his 2005 Forbidden Fruit album, but this no less brilliant successor is very different. New is Kevin Glasgow on six-string electric bass, and the lingua franca has become an amalgam of Scottish, Irish and Arab folk elements spiced with […]

'Karma' review in The Guardian (4 stars)

Scottish saxophonist Smith, a teenage prodigy in the 80s, is nowadays one of the most widely respected of European jazz musicians – not just for his sax mastery, but for his influence on his homeland’s jazz culture through the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and its youth wing he founded and still runs. Smith can play […]

Tommy Smith's Karma

In the photo I tried to capture one of those contempative, meditative Zen moments, with Tommy Smith crouching hidden next to the piano, musing as the band played on. I smiled as the thought came to me that perhaps he’s been overcome by thoughts of his own Karma. Looking around at the audience, that mood had communicated […]

Tommy Smith, Karma ***** (5-star)

Tommy Smith has explored many directions over the years, and Karma adds another to that list with a shift into a more groove- and rock-based idiom. The band made their debut in a superb concert at last year’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and this disc, recorded the following day, bears out the powerful impression the music […]

SNJO with Kurt Elling

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Kurt Elling, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh ***** IN AN era when singers of many different backgrounds like to dabble with jazz and swing, real jazz singers remain at a premium. There are no doubts in the case of Chicago’s Kurt Elling – and saxophonist Tommy Smith’s assertion that he is the […]

Kurt Elling with the SNJO

Kurt Elling with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh WHATEVER John Coltrane imagined his A Love Supreme suite inspiring – world peace would have been reasonable reward – he surely can’t have considered someone arriving who could turn the melody and saxophone solo from that masterpiece’s Resolution into a work of blistering vocal […]

Tommy Smith, Karma, The Hub **** [4 stars]

Tommy Smith has been so immersed in encouraging the next generation of jazz musicians, overseeing the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s programme and touring with bassist Arild Andersen’s trio that he has neglected his own career. Five years have passed since his last album, Forbidden Fruit, was released but somewhere amongst a workload that sees him […]