Tommy Smith - Blue Smith - Rough Guide

Flourishing on his current label after a brief spell with Blue Note, Scottish (if Luton-born) saxophonist Tommy Smith takes a break from his recent more concept-orientated approach to recording on this pleasingly informal yet utterly professional New York session. After his thorough-composed suites, collaborations with poets and ventures into smooth balladry and classical music, an album devoted to original blues - ringing the changes between funky shuffles, dreamy smooches, easy lopes and raunchy bustles - allows Smith the relax and stretch out in world-class company. His cultured, elegant sound blends well with John Scofield's multi-textured guitar work, and the rich variety of the material makes this Smith's most immediately appealing album for some time.

01 August 1999