Will Smith

Will’s Contributions


March 2009    Albums

Dimartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra

If you’re just seeking a massive supply of jazz-oriented big-band music, look no further than Quotient by the Lexington, Ky.-based orchestra led by Vince DiMartino (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Miles Osland (alto and soprano saxes, flute). If, however, you want...


March 2009    Albums

Energy Fields
Ralph Lalama Quartet

An orderly display of power is clearly the direction for this musical outing by tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama and his veteran backing unit of guitarist John Hart, bassist Rick Petrone and drummer Joe Corsello. There’s nothing loud or shouting in this session...


March 2009    Albums

It Amazes Me
Bob Mover

For reasons not always clear to listeners, some musicians remain underappreciated for years while others with only a modicum of talent have all the career breaks. It Amazes Me, the first leader recording in more than two decades by alto and tenor saxophonist...


January/February 2009    Albums

Roll With It
Corey Christiansen

Those with a taste for grits and gravy in their musical diet will find a lot to savor on Roll With It. And while this group looks like a typical organ trio with tenor on the side, it packs a tangy flavor due to the solid and inspired musicianship of the...


January/February 2009    Albums

Deep Lee
Lee Konitz/Minsarah

If Sun Ra is considered the ultimate musical explorer of outer space, then alto saxophonist Lee Konitz must be thought of as one of the great travelers of the cerebral regions (inner space, if you will). He’s a musician involved with investigating the intellectual...


January/February 2009    Albums

One Thought
Scott Lee

Despite slight similarities, don’t misconstrue this lineup of alto and tenor sax with rhythm section as some sort reworking of the Lennie Tristano Quintet ethos. Altoist Loren Stillman and tenorist Andrew Rathbun aren’t Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. And, of...


January/February 2009    Albums

Benny Powell

It’s most encouraging to hear some of jazz’s senior citizens (Sonny Rollins, James Moody, Lee Konitz, Clark Terry and Hank Jones, among others) remaining active and creative in their sunset years. At age 78, trombonist Benny Powell may have lost a step or...


December 2008    Books

Miles On Miles—Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis
Paul Maher Jr. and Michael K. Dorr

By Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington (Thomas Dunne Books) Trudging through these books on the life and music of the enigmatic Miles Davis, trumpet great and brilliant conceptualist, one is forced to suggest that the experience be titled Miles of...


December 2008    Books

Workout—The Music of Hank Mobley
Derek Ansell

Will Smith reviews recent biographies of saxophonists Hank Mobley and Johnny Griffin.

May 2008    DVDs

Symphony in Riffs
Benny Carter

Less a musical offering than a visual tribute to the long, achievement-filled career of alto saxophonist, trumpeter, bandleader and composer-arranger Benny Carter, Symphony in Riffs follows his ascent from fairly humble beginnings in New York City through...


May 2008    DVDs

Live at Jazz a Vienne
SFJAZZ Collective

This July 2007 public TV broadcast DVD offers loads of strong, often joyous music along with fairly unimaginative visuals from Vienne, France, capturing the SFJAZZ Collective in a lineup slightly different from its recent two-CD concert tour recording. In...


March 2008    Albums

First Flight
Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra

Opening with the shouting title track, the 17-piece Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra announces its presence on the New York City scene with the bright, tight ensemble work and solid solo efforts one expects. First Flight, however, tends to offer precision...


January/February 2008    Albums

Soft Hands
Ron McClure

The quiet and easygoing togetherness of bassist Ron McClure’s Soft Hands, with tenor saxophonist Rich Perry and pianist George Colligan, will find listeners overlooking the absence of a drummer. Much of the fire and sizzle provided by a drummer is replaced...


December 2007    Albums

Bill Holman Band

Composer-arranger Bill Holman, who turned 80 this year, continues to make the world safe for big-band jazz, providing arrangements on Hommage with the usual unexpected twists and turns that inspire his longtime sidemen in their solo outings and tight ensemble...


December 2007    Albums

Jazz Upstairs: Live at the Bar-Guru-Bar
Rex Richardson

Athens, the famed Greek capital, provides the musical setting for Rex Richardson’s trumpet, flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet, in a quintet he headed at one of that city’s night spots in early 2006. Joining him for Jazz Upstairs: Live at the Bar-Guru-Bar are...


November 2007    Albums

Indian Summer
Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck takes another solo stroll with his latest CD, Indian Summer, and mostly leaves behind the bombastic style that has long marked his career in favor of a more reflective viewpoint. Of course, the pianist will likely have passed his 87th birthday...

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About Will Smith

Will Smith joined the JazzTimes community on Jun 17, 2008