Marvin "Smitty" Smith

Keeper of the Drums

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Drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith, widely regarded among jazz's premier percussionists and accompanists, got his chance in the spotlight when he made his debut as a leader for Concord. This 1987 session was a brilliant first effort, with Smith heading a wonderful four-horn octet. The group included alto and soprano saxophonist Steve Coleman, tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore, trombonist Robin Eubanks and trumpeter Wallace Roney. The eight songs were not lengthy (none much longer than six minutes), but were structured to allow maximum individual identity and collective performances. It was the perfect blend of traditional setting and contemporary insights, which has been lacking in so much 1990s jazz material.

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