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Daniel Smith: Blue Bassoon

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Bassoon player and bandleader Daniel Smith cooks up a heady mix of blues and bop with a dash of experimental jazz in his recording, Blue Bassoon from Summit Records. Similarly to his previous albums as a leader, Bebop Bassoon and Swingin’ Bassoon, Smith tailors the bassoon to fit the specific needs of the album title. This is not to suggest that he eschews bebop or swing jazz forms on Blue Bassoon but rather accentuates the bluesy tones of his instrument and its heavy register which he gels nicely with his band comprising of pianist Martin Bejerano, bassist Edward Perez, drummer Ludwig Afonso, and guitarist Larry Campbell.

At times, the music feels like an Elvis Presley revival with twangy acoustic guitar strings shrouded in a countrified blues shading and chugging rhythmic beats like his rendition of B.B. King’s “My Baby’s Gone,” and on other occasions the music ferries a sleek percussive-jazz style like in Smith’s tinkering of Cannonball Adderly’s “Sack Of Woe.” Smith covers a wide breadth of jazz material from the likes of Horace Shaw, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and many others. He implants tweaks and nuances to the original arrangements making them appear brand new once again.

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