A great Capitol moment from pianist Paul Smith – an artist who really cut some of his best material ever for the label ! The Smith sound is at the height of its powers here in the late 50s — kind of a blend of jazz and more easy-going pianistic modes — often stretched out with lots of flourishes by Smith on the keys, but never the too-flowery styles used by some of his contemporaries ! Instead, Paul keeps things nice and lean — always enough to be plenty swinging in all the right moments — with quartet help from Barney Kessel on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass, and Stan Levey on drums.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Paul Smith, jazz pianist, widely known as Ella Fritzgerald’s conductor and pianist, an active studio musician with a brilliant technique. Paul Smith also worked with renowned Jazz figures, such as: Dizzy Gillespie, Anita O’Day, Buddy DeFranco, Louie Bellson, Steve Allen, Louie Bellson, Stan Kenton, Mel Torme and many others. Pick of the day, Paul Smith’s rendition to Bossa Nova. This is Paul Smith Piano and Orchestra – Brazilian Detour (1966), for Warner. Paul Smith is a virtuoso piano player; he goes from the “liquid sounds” slow playing to a faster approach, hitting keys strongly. Paul Smith also leads the orchestra.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Paul Smith is well-known to jazz fans for his sterling accompaniment on a number of Ella Fitzgerald's best albums, particularly Ella in Berlin. But the veteran pianist has recorded quite a bit on his own, though few of his LPs (like this Warner Bros. album from the 1960s) have been reissued on CD. Joining him on this trio date are bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks (who worked alongside Smith with Ella) and drummer Frank Capp.
The two enticingly swinging sessions brought together here find pianist Paul Smith in typically well-crafted form, with “The Big Men” a joyously engaging date in which he is heard performing solo or in a trio. Much skill, considerable feeling, and unceasingly ebullient energy transform this album into a thoroughly listenable program of modern jazz, throughout which his lines show strong classical influence and clear indication of his imposing compositional talent (Theme for Theda). The playing of the trio is crisp and knowing, and there are moments of brilliant musicianship by Smith with the fine support of Vinnegar and Levey, two swingers who keep the pulse vibrant.