Steve Smith

Very Live at Ronnie Scott's London, Set 2

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This CD denotes the second of two appearances at the famous London, England jazz spot. With this effort, master drummer Steve Smith performs with ex-Buddy Rich bandmembers, saxophonists Steve Marcus, Andy Fusco, and other notables. Nonetheless, Smith drives this quintet thru a set of largely jazz standards such as Coltrane's "Moments Notice," and Sonny Rollins' "Airegin." However, as intimated in the liner notes, the band does offer a small scale footprint of the Rich big band's rapidly paced stride and acute use of dynamics. In any event, the musicians convey a tight-knit, upbeat groove, regardless of tempo. Everyone gets an opportunity to stretch; yet one of the more noticeable aspects of this release pertains to Smith's flawlessly constructed rhythms. Even his solos are somewhat patterned after Rich's lightning-fast fills, cross-sticking maneuvers, and sweeping tom rolls. A highly entertaining effort, indeed!

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