Reviews

Cover_LeeSmith_MyKindOfBlues_317x331MY KIND OF BLUES

a jazz album by Lee Smith, available on CD Baby and iTunes.

Review by Victor L. Schermer on All About Jazz.

Click here to read Victor’s review of “My Kind of Blues” on the All About Jazz website. Posted August 6, 2015.

Review by Marty Sheller.

He produced several of Mongo Santamaria’s albums and played trumpet in Mongo’s band. Click here to read Marty Sheller’s review, Christian McBride’s line notes, and more on the Vectordisc website.

Sittin' on a Secret album coverSITTIN’ ON A SECRET

A jazz album by Lee Smith, available on CD Baby and iTunes.

VIDEO: Lee Smith at Kennett Flash, October, 2012

Review in City Paper by Shaun Brady, October, 2012.

ACE OF BASS: After 40 years in the trenches, the bassist takes center stage. Posted on the City Paper website, Philadelphia.

Review in Jazz Times by Bruce Klauber, September, 2012.

Bassit Lee Smith’s “Sittin’ on a Secret”: An Impressive Debut. Bassist Lee Smith has been playing — with just about everyone — for nearly 40 years, but this is his first effort as a leader. And it’s a good one. Click here to read the more

Review by Christian McBride, July, 2012.

When I saw that my father’s debut solo disc was called “Sittin’ On A Secret”, my inquisitive Gemini nature made me wonder what subliminal “secret” he was referring to. Was it his bass playing? No, that’s no secret. Was it his writing? Perhaps, but certainly not a surprise. Was it his arranging? Maybe a secret, but no surprise.

It’s certainly no secret that everyone who knows know him thoroughly respects his musicianship. From his R&B days playing electric bass with The Delfonics and Billy Paul, to his days touring the world with the late, great Cuban conguero, Mongo Santamaria, then later switching to acoustic bass and playing with Odean Pope, Trudy Pitts, Bootsie Barnes and many other jazz giants, his great musicianship has never been a secret to be sat on.

Listening to these original compositions, arrangements and wonderful bass work only confirms what my father’s bass playing have made people suspect for years – his talent reaches far beyond the instrument. His arranging skills conjure up a combination of Chico O’Farrill, Marty Sheller, Deodato and a big chunk of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. His bass sound is a pure, woody recipe of Paul Chambers and Jimmy Garrison. But all of these influences are filtered through a singular, personal lens.

My dad is his own man, for sure. My chest swells with pride and happiness as I write words about my father’s first recording as a leader. Yes, I know that’s a sentiment usually reserved for parents, but in this case, I’m sure you’ll understand. Listening to my father flourish in such amazing musical settings, I’m happy to say that only I can react with the words, “Yep, that’s my dad!” If indeed there is a secret that my father is sitting on, it could only be that there’s a lot more wonderful music from where this came from. I look forward to the next release… and the next one after that. Go ahead, dad. Congratulations!

Your son and fan,

—Christian McBride

Photos

Click here or the photo at right to see a high-resolution photo of Lee Smith. Please credit Melissa Gilstrap, photographer.

Videos

Lee Smith at the Kennett Square Flash, September, 2012

Bassist Lee Smith performs the title track to his album “Sittin’ on a Secret” at the Jazz Bridge Kennett Square neighborhood concert series with Greg Riley (s), Tim Thompson (t) Anthony Wonsey (p) and Justin Faulkner (d).

The Credits

Lee Smith – Acoustic Bass

Anthony Wonsey – Piano

Justin Faulkner – Drums

Tim Warfield – Tenor & Soprano Saxophones

Terell Stafford – Trumpet & Flugelhorn

Marc Adler – Flute

Duane Eubanks – Trumpet (Morning Glory)

Bill Meeks – Piano (Aquarian Reprieve)

Denise King – Vocals (Super Star)

Recorded, mixed & mastered at The Music Center, Exton, PA. – Glenn Ferracone, Engineer

Original compositions published by LEENET Music Publishing

Executive Producer: Lynette Connor

Producer: Lee Smith

Co-producer: Barbara Montgomery

Album Design: Danny N. Schweers

Vectordisc Records: www.Vectordisc.com

The Album

Visit the CD Baby website to listen to track samples and download tunes.

Lee Smith comments:

I would like to thank all of the musicians who participated in this project for their willingness and friendship. They brought new life to my tunes, some written over 20 years ago. Their individual talent and spirit made overseeing this project comfortable for me. Thank you, Barbara Montgomery for your experience and input. Thanks Glenn Ferracone for your patience (you had to be there) and to Richard Burton for his interest and investment in this project. A special thanks to my son Chris for his kind words and his reaffirmation of my capabilities. And most of all, to the light of my life, my better half, Lynette Connor for her unconditional love & encouragement making me realize that not only “should” the project be done, but it “needed” to be done. God is good,

—Lee Smith