Louis Smith was one of the most vital jazz trumpeters of the late 1950s. His beautiful tone, fluent style and exciting solos competed with Lee Morgan and even Miles Davis. Smithville, from 1958, features him at the peak of his powers. Recorded the same year as Smith's heated appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival with Horace Silver, Smithville features the trumpeter interacting with tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse and pianist Sonny Clark on some stunning performances.
The title cut, a lengthy themeless blues, is full of creative solos, "Wetu" is explosive (with Rouse challenging Smith), and "Embraceable You" contains emotional solos that make the George Gershwin ballad sound brand new. Louis Smith proves to be a masterful player whose solos are full of surprises and honest emotions. Smithville is a gem that all hard bop collectors will cherish.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.See more Lou Donaldson records here