RECORDING SESSIONS PRODUCED BY HAL SMITH:
Perhaps it’s not surprising that a band led by a drummer would be noteworthy for its pulsing rhythmic feel, but there it is. This would be a good album for those keeping time to study from.
While there are some bands with 50 years in, or more, still playing in revival style, none are doing it with the intentionality of this group. That focus gives the music a freshness that will bring a smile to long time fans.
Joe Bebco – The Syncopated Times (June 2018)
The premise is a collection of rags that Jelly Roll Morton planned to record — or would have known and played. And it’s not a fanciful vision, as Hal Smith’s solid annotations show — in 1939, Morton discussed with Roy Carew his plans to play Joplin and others in his own style, because, as he told Carew, “he didn’t know of anyone more qualified to do it than himself,” and he envisioned recording thirty or forty rags. (Oh, had he lived for another decade!)
He didn’t live to accomplish this, but we have Tokarski, Gouzy, and Smith to make the fantasy real.
Michael Steinman — Jazz Lives Blog (Apr. 22, 2019) “What Would Jelly Do?”
This CD features brilliant clarinetist Jonathan Doyle, accompanied by a first-rate rhythm section. If you enjoy listening to the quirky sound of clarinet virtuoso Pee Wee Russell, or Chicago legend Frank Teschemacher (My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms) you will love these renditions.
Hal Smith has a reputation for putting together first – class outfits, and this one is no exception.
Neville Dickie — Just Jazz (November, 2017)
RECORDINGS WITH HAL SMITH ON DRUMS:
All of the albums listed above are available from BANDCAMP: https://bandcamp.com/
Roya Naldi: A Night In June
Available from: https://www.royanaldi.com/
Available from: http://www.timlaughlin.com/
Available from: http://www.floyddomino.com/products.htm
Available from: https://www.jazzology.com/item_detail.php?id=SACD-171