Tommy Smith

Recordings

Gymnopédie

Linn Records | 1999

Tommy Smith "Gymnopédie"featuring Tommy Smith (tenor saxophone), Murray McLachlan (piano)

  1. Gymnopedie
  2. Bagpipe Music
  3. Gnossienne No.1
  4. Children’s Song No.7
  5. Arietta
  6. Children’s Song No.6
  7. Notturno
  8. Bulgarian Rhythm No.1
  9. Gnossiene No.3
  10. Je Te Veux

Hall Of Mirrors (Tommy Smith 1993)

  1. Mirror Talk
  2. The Looking Glass
  3. There is a Mirror Only You Can See
  4. Hologram

Dreaming With Open Eyes (Tommy Smith 1995, inspired by Mike Tucker’s book “Dreaming With Open Eyes”)

  1. Call of the Shaman
  2. The Promise and the Search
  3. A Heap of Broken Images
  4. Journeys Home, Destination Unknown

Reviews

Inverness Courier — Powerful yet lyrical works, they offer opportunities for improvisation and Smith employs a jazzman’s expressive tone to haunting and thrilling effect.

Inverness Courier — The Scottish jazz saxophonist, composer and orchestra leader works frequently with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BT Scottish Ensemble and pianist Murray McLachlan who accompanies him on this programme of music by Satie, Bartok, Grieg and the jazz pianist Chick Corea, tasty morsels which are appetisers for more substantial fare – Smith’s two sonatas for saxophone and piano whose influences range from Prokofiev to the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and songwriter Eubie Blake. Powerful yet lyrical works, they offer opportunities for improvisation and Smith employs a jazzman’s expressive tone to haunting and thrilling effect.

Burton Daily Mail — Thus jazz saxophonist Tommy Smith, along with leading classical concert pianist Murray McLachlan, are superb on Smith’s first classical album, Gymnopedie (Linn Records CD). The title track is one of three haunting compositions from Erik Satie. There are two from Bela Bartok, who himself was inspired by the folk music of Eastern Europe, two from Edward Greig and two from Chick Corea. This CD will be remembered however for the two sonatas written by Smith himself for sax and piano. Each is of four movements, and a wide range of moods and emotions is con jured up by these two remarkable musicians. These two works, Hall of Mirrors and Dreaming with Open Eyes, deserve the full attention of classical buffs.

The List (Glasgow & Edinburgh) — Saxophonist Tommy Smith draws on his well-established duo with pianist Murray McLachlan in his first classical disc. As well as the title piece and three other imaginative reconstructions of music by Satie, the disc features minatures by Bartok, Chick Corea and Grieg as an extended prelude to Smith’s own pair of meatier sonatas, a structure which replicates the form favoured in their concerts. The progression from Hall of Mirrors – Sonata No.1 to Dreaming With Open Eyes – Sonata No.2 reveals a marked advance in the saxophonist’s formal compositional technique, but both are impressive and exciting pieces, and are superbly played and vividly recorded.

The Falcon Radio — This is truly wonderful. Tommy’s own two compositions are a bit too jazzy for my classical programme but his interpretations of other composers especially Satie are devine. Very definitely for sultry summer evenings and I’ll be including more during the summer.

The Recorder Magazine — Although representing the classical side of saxophonist Tommy Smith, there is no escaping the jazz influence, not only on his sensuous performance of Satie, and supercharged interpretations of Bartok, but also on the two very individual sonatas of his own. Classical pianist Murray McLachlan enters entirely into the spirit of Smith’s art. If you can imagine a recorder jazz album by Piers Adams you will understand what this disc is all about.

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