Posts Tagged ‘Karma’

Tommy Smith’s inadvertent radicalism

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Scots saxophonist Tommy Smith returns to his and some other jazz roots with his new album Karma as well as paradoxically making a perhaps inadvertently radical statement. He tours the music in Scotland in late June and later elsewhere (see below). (more…)

“Visceral precision and imaginative interplay”

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Karma,  Spartacus *****

Tommy Smith’s new quartet includes pianist/keyboardist Steve Hamilton and drummer Alyn Cosker off his 2005 Forbidden Fruit album, but this no less brilliant successor is very different. New is Kevin Glasgow on six-string electric bass, and the lingua franca has become an amalgam of Scottish, Irish and Arab folk elements spiced with funk, fusion and heavy metal. (more…)

‘Karma’ review in The Guardian (4 stars)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Scottish saxophonist Smith, a teenage prodigy in the 80s, is nowadays one of the most widely respected of European jazz musicians – not just for his sax mastery, but for his influence on his homeland’s jazz culture through the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and its youth wing he founded and still runs. Smith can play the daylights out of full-on post-bop or explore north-Euro ambiance, but this is a hard-hitting fusion album – one that sounds pretty familiar at first, with its hammering backbeats (from the ferocious Alyn Cosker), slick unison choruses and Headhunters keyboard and bass guitar effects. But Smith is much too smart for the obvious, and this set for what he calls his “grunge band” turns out to be a rare splicing of rich-toned, pipe-like themes, fiercely guttural up-tempo tenor improv, Arabic and Irish music, tight grooving that suggests Weather Report or Chris Potter’s Underground band, and some haunting atmospherics from his shakuhachi bamboo flute. Smith’s compositions are way ahead of the usual slam-bang fusion forays, and the sombrely pensive Star (based on an Irish folk song) is a great sax-ballad performance.

read on The Guardian website

Tommy Smith’s Karma

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

In the photo I tried to capture one of those contempative, meditative Zen moments, with Tommy Smith crouching hidden next to the piano, musing as the band played on. I smiled as the thought came to me that perhaps he’s been overcome by thoughts of his own Karma. Looking around at the audience, that mood had communicated to them, people were still, transfixed, caught in their own inner thoughts. (more…)

Tommy Smith, Karma ***** (5-star)

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Tommy Smith has explored many directions over the years, and Karma adds another to that list with a shift into a more groove- and rock-based idiom. The band made their debut in a superb concert at last year’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and this disc, recorded the following day, bears out the powerful impression the music made that night. (more…)

KARMA

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Tommy Smith "Karma"

Tommy Smith "Karma"

Hailed on arrival by critics as the toughest and most creative group of his career, Tommy Smith’s KARMA sees the brilliant Scottish saxophonist lead a band of virtuosic musicians on a deeply grooving acid jazz adventure that draws on influences from around the world. (more…)