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Tommy Smith

The Christmas Concert

Tommy Smith has made a serious jazz album that takes the raw material of familiar Christmas staples and builds them into much more elaborate harmonic structures.

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Tommy Smith – tenor saxophone
Gareth Williams – piano
Orlando Le Fleming – bass
Sebastiaan De Krom – drums

  1. Winter Wonderland
  2. God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen
  3. Auld Land Syne
  4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  5. The Holy & The Ivy
  6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  7. We Three Kings
  8. The Christmas Song

All music arranged by by Tommy Smith Recorded live in Glasgow on 22 December 2001


  • Winter Wonderland -
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -
  • Silent Night -
  • Auld Land Syne -
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas -
  • The Holy and the Ivy -
  • Have Yourself a Merry Christmas -
  • We Three Kings -
  • The Christmas Song -
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Friday, December 20, 2002

This might sound a bit of a turkey, as you might say, since it’s composed entirely of Christmas songs, played by Scottish saxophonist Smith and a trio. But it’s impressive how well the sentimentality is replaced by a mysterious, almost abstract air. Winter Wonderland becomes a glimmering musical landscape rather than a Christmas card, with Smith’s haunting tenor sax curling over Gareth Williams’ enigmatic piano riff, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a hard-toned, thundering Coltrane-quartet swinger. Smith’s superb tone control at low volumes poignantly reinvents Silent Night; Auld Lang Syne has a cocky strut to it, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas murmurs like a drier Ben Webster before turning to the lazy mid-tempo swing effortlessly furnished by Orlando le Fleming (bass) and Sebastiaan de Krom (drums). Whatever he does, Smith sounds like a man in charge these days.

The Guardian, John Fordham