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'...this is not just another homage to Ellington and Strayhorn, Smith's renderings and keen vision clearly exhibit the obvious notions that Ellington and Strayhorn are embedded in his soul. Pianist Kenny Barron was the perfect choice for this project. His articulate phrasing and heartfelt performances provide the anchor for Smith's rich and multi- textured tenor sax passages.' All About Jazz
'Timeless jazz music.' Crescendo and Jazz Music
The eleven classics contained on this recording - five by Ellington, four by Strayhorn and two collaborative pieces - include some of the loveliest songs to grace twentieth-century music. The cleverly chosen title track The Sound Of Love, written by Charlie Mingus in tribute to Ellington, is a rarely played gem.
Smith fully respects the two composers' original intentions, whilst utilising shading, colour and texture to add a further dimension of warmth to these familiar themes. Made in New York, with many tracks recorded in just one take, the album peaked at #20 in the American Gavin Jazz Chart upon release.
Smith is accompanied by a trio of seasoned musicians: Kenny Barron (a six-time recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association 'Best Pianist' award), bassist Peter Washington and Billy Drummond on drums.