Tommy Smith Quartet, King's Lynn
ALISON CROOSE Jazz aficionados were treated to an evening of consummate musicianship when exceptional saxophonist Tommy Smith brought his vibrant young quartet to King's Lynn Arts Centre for an East Coast Jazz Festival event.
Jazz aficionados were treated to an evening of consummate musicianship when exceptional saxophonist Tommy Smith brought his vibrant young quartet to King's Lynn Arts Centre for an East Coast Jazz Festival event.
The director of the Scottish National Orchestra is not only a fine musician but also an engaging host, presenting an evening of jazz standards plus some numbers he has made his own.
It was an evening rich in improvisation during which there was an obvious musical empathy between Smith and Gareth Williams (piano), Aiden O'Donnell (bass) and the highly talented 19-year-old John Blease on drums and symbols.
Tommy Smith opened the show by promising energy, effervescence and magnetism – and did not fail to deliver. The quartet proved a splendid combination, which impressed an audience significantly including many local jazz musicians.
The opening numbers were an arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and reminders of Smith's Scottish roots in Folk Song and Golden Eagle.
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Most impressive were the renderings of standards such as Bill Evans' Very Early and Duke Ellington's In A Sentimental Mood.