Tommy Smith – The Sound Of Love (2000) SACD ISO

Tommy Smith – The Sound Of Love (2000)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 7:32 minutes | Full Scans included | 2,73 GB
Genre: Jazz | Publisher (label): Linn – AKD 138

Saxophone virtuoso Tommy Smith reveals himself to be a consummate ballad player on this laid back selection of classics by two of the most justly celebrated composers in jazz history: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

The eleven classics contained on this recording – five by Ellington, four by Strayhorn and two collaborative pieces – include some of the loveliest songs to grace twentieth-century music. The cleverly chosen title track ‘The Sound Of Love’, written by Charlie Mingus in tribute to Ellington, is a rarely played gem.

Smith fully respects the two composers’ original intentions, whilst utilising shading, colour and texture to add a further dimension of warmth to these familiar themes. Made in New York, with many tracks recorded in just one take, the album peaked at #20 in the American Gavin Jazz Chart upon release.

Smith is accompanied by a trio of seasoned musicians: Kenny Barron (a six-time recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association ‘Best Pianist’ award), bassist Peter Washington and Billy Drummond on drums.

Jazz musicians have provided so many Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn tributes over the years that in the late ’90s, one greeted an Ellington/Strayhorn homage with the question”Do we really need yet another one?” The frustrating thing was how safe many of those tributes continued to be — instead of taking chances and turning their attention to some of Ellington and Strayhorn’s lesser-known works, many players chose only the most obvious standards. That’s exactly what Tommy Smith does on The Sound of Love, a relaxed Ellington/Strayhorn tribute that unites him with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Billy Drummond. Interestingly, Smith’s most adventurous choice isn’t by Ellington or Strayhorn – it’s the very Ellingtonian Charles Mingus piece “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love.” But while this album could have taken more chances, it’s certainly enjoyable. A 30-year-old Smith plays with plenty of soul throughout the CD, and the captivating Barron does the same. Emphasizing ballads, Sound of Love essentially functions as mood music – seductive, evocative, lower-the-lights mood music. Smith is playing it safe this time, but he’s also playing from the heart.


1. Johnny Come Lately 6:15
2. The Star-Crossed Lovers 3:48
3. In a Sentimental Mood 4:22
4. A Flower is a Lovesome Thing 6:54
5. Chelsea Bridge 6:44
6. Isfahan 8:40
7. Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love 3:30
8. Sophisticated Lady 7:37
9. Passion Flower 4:03
10. Solitude 1:55
11. Prelude to a Kiss 6:34
12. Cottontail 6:30

Tommy Smith – tenor saxophone
Kenny Baron – piano
Peter Washington – bass
Billy Drummond – drums

Recorded direct to 2-track analog tape at Clinton Studios, New York City on 19th September 1997


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