Warren Smith - Old News Borrowed Blues (Music CD)

Release Date: 09 October 2009
Artist: Warren Smith
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A long overdue edition of percussionist Warren Smith's Composers Workshop Ensemble is heard on this recording of original material that expresses a perfectly accessible aesthetic of the modern progressive big band in the decade of the 2000s. The improvisational and especially interactive aspect of Smith's music is most evident, and shines through the multifaceted, abundantly layered personality of this ensemble. Veteran listeners will recognize the names of trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, euphonium player Joe Daley, bass trombonist Jack Jeffers, tenor saxophonist Andrew Lamb, baritone saxophonist Claire Daly, bassist Jaribu Shahid, and younger players like alto saxophonist Doug Yates, soprano saxophonist Craig Rivers, and tenor saxophonist James Stewart, together making for an imposing front line. Plus, it is always good to hear Smith play the drum kit, and especially the vibraphone.
Altogether a blues, "Lock the Toilet Door" was originally a solo drum piece, but in this form is fully orchestrated as Thelonious Monk-style jazz bop, with angular, scalloped melodies abounding. The lengthy "Rivers State Suite" has direct reggae inferences, shaker rhythms, and a horse gallop, with a funky, wholly Latin boogaloo component--even though it was inspired by a trip to Nigeria. "One More Lick for Harold Vick" is dedicated to the legendary soul-jazz saxophonist, but is a scattershot melody going back and forth from 13/8 to 7/8 time in a sliced and diced manner, while "The Hungarian Gypsy Song" is a dour slow funk, with the bright spot a soprano sax solo by Rivers. Another suite, "Free Forms" (in four parts), is the most improvisational selection, offering a quirky, free, up-and-down attitude, a deft bass solo from the always capable Shahid, and a dense Latin section followed by a "sorta" poetic vocal love song as recited by Smith in his own inimitable way. For those not aware of the incredible recordings from previous editions of the CWE, it's time to catch up, starting with this fabulous modern music display-- then please go back to earlier albums. OLD NEWS BORROWED BLUES is a strong candidate for best jazz CD of 2009.
Release Date: 09 October 2009
Artist: Warren Smith
  • 1. Lock The Toilet
  • 2. Rivers State Suite
  • 3. Hungarian Gypsy Song
  • 4. One More Lick For Harold Vick
  • 5. Free Forms 1-4

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Catalogue No: E027