Review: Tommy Smith’s Karma
(Pizza Express, April 28th 2011, review and photos by Roger Thomas)
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.
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This show was dedicated to the performance of tracks from his latest album, Karma. Jazz improvisation, and sounds reminiscent of Weather Report were mixed with Indian rhythms, the rituals of Japan, but there is also a chilled urban feel, tasteful electronic keyboards and funky/hip-hoppish drumming.
The arrangements were thought-provoking and showed a great understanding of how to combine all of these disparate elements. Smith has written specificially for musicians whom he knows well – which added to the distinct character of each composition.
Tommy is now the musician’s musician, at least to judge by the number of colleagues who were not just present, but were also clearly showing their appreciation of, and admiration for this new project. They weren’t alone in that: this is one album I will definitely be buying.
Personnel: Tommy Smith – Tenor sax, Shakuhachi; Steve Hamilton – Piano/Keyboards; Kevin Glasgow – six string bass guitar; Alyn Cosker – Drums.
Karma is on Spartacus Records
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