Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Louis Smith: Here's Comes A Legend

Louis Smith (trumpet; b. 1931)

When someone tells you "You gotta buy this album", do you really believe them? Do you really buy it? Well this time we mean it.

Here Comes Louis Smith (Blue Note; 1957) is that record that you have to own. It is a brilliant debut that featured a number high flying artists; Cannonball Adderley (Sax), Duke Jordan and Tommy Flanagan (piano), Doug Watkins (bass) and the great Art Taylor (drums).

This isn't one of those milestone recordings like Kind Of Blue or Blue Train but it is one of those blistering sessions that even if you're not a huge jazz lover you will appreciate it the veracity of performances. If you haven't experienced a live jazz show this is an album that will give you the best idea of how it would feel.

Louis Smith's style was similar to another more famous hard bop trumpeter, Clifford Brown--for whom Smith included the piece "Tribute To Brownie" on this release. After this debut, Louis Smith went on to record one more album for Blue Note entitled Smithville. He then became a university professor. He returned to recording and performing in 1978. His subsequent releases actually feel like he never missed a beat but Here Comes Louis Smith remains his defining moment. The album is still available physically and for download. Highly recommended.

"Ande" (audio clip from youtube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16uvtyrLUzs

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