Alternity Records - Artist Profile
- JASON SMITH -
For more information contact Chris Hoard at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Universal Praise for Jason Smith's recording debut as a leader!!! SEE THE VIDEO!!!
From the current issue of: JAZZ IMPROV QUARTERLY:
"The band enjoys a compatibility of styles and musical approaches that makes for inspiring improvisations and creates a group dynamic that is greater than the sum of its parts. Through a program of original music and covers of some of jazz's most prolific composers, the band maintains a consistency of style while never failing to keep things fresh, lively, and interesting... This is an important new combo in the history of the jazz piano trio."
From the January 2006 issue of Keyboard Magazine:
"This superb jazz trio record is the brainchild of drummer Jason Smith who teams with the
exceptionally talented Gary Husband on keyboards and Dave Carpenter on acoustic bass. There
are shades of the Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer music from the ’70s but Smart and Co. are on their own
wavelength. Husband’s chops verge on the ridiculous as he unleashes torrents of Minimoog
melodies over a deep Rhodes bass on the opening “Gnu York.” Elsewhere, his piano work is
classy and elegant with just the right amount of bravado and daring to paint outside of the lines.
Much praise to Smith for not just gathering a great trio but for laying down such a tasteful foundation
on the drums. This may be Smith’s first solo album but with such high quality performance and
musicality, it surely won’t be his last. (Alternity) - - Robbie Gennet
"The river that was fusion split off into many
tributaries. Some became mired in velocity and
novelty for its own sake, coursing hard but with
little regard for ultimate direction. Some drained
off all the spontaneous creativity of jazz and became
watered-down pools, meandering aimlessly. Jason Smith has navigated a difficult path: using contemporary
instrumentation, yet finding the drama and nuance in
the music. His trio has sacrificed nothing in the way
of intellectual challenge yet has reached the
emotional objective all meaningful art seeks." -- Kirk Silsbee / Downbeat
"Think Like This", is the debut recording by drummer/composer Jason Smith. Joined by bassist Dave Carpenter and keyboardist Gary Husband, the music showcases a precocious, updated, and unconventional take on the standard jazz trio format. The musicians explore themes and ideas with eloquence and patience, surging then receding as nature does with tides on a far shore. There is a playful, bantering quality, but there is also rigor and discipline. To perform like this one must take some exceptionally giant steps.
While this is Jason's first album under his own name, he is no novice to diverse arrays of contemporary music settings. Having grown up in the remote climes of Wyoming, he discovered music, and the drums, at an early age. He listened deeply, gleaned whatever skills small town music teachers could impart, then departed for formal musical study in Colorado courtesy of a Fulbright scholarship.
Orchestra rehearsal vied with late night gigs in cover bands. Eventually a call came from a respected local player to come join him on the West Coast. Soon thereafter, he was gigging and recording with Mike Keneally, the acclaimed guitarist from Frank Zappa's last touring ensemble; studio dates with producer Pat Leonard for Enrique Iglesias; rock 'n' roll with Five For Fighting as their smash hit, "Superman (It's Not Easy)" roared up the charts; then back in the studio for tracking on the "Solaris" and "Italian Job" soundtracks. And, finally, making time to write music for a record of his own.
--Ken Kubernik (Contributing Reviewer, The Los Angeles Times, former editor, The Music Connection)
Think Like This blew me away when I first heard this record – it’s both retro and forward looking in it’s compositional and musical vision, evidenced by the inclusion of lesser known art jazz standards – like Kenny Wheeler’s “Smatter,” and Keith Jarrett’s “The Magician In You.” This is a moment in time when the jazz piano trio needs some redefinition and stretching—and that’s what I think Jason Smith has accomplished with this project. Smith’s compositions and the group dynamic are simply superb, fresh, and original. What caught my attention was the fact that so much of the music on a release from an LA-based young musician looks far across the pond toward the great British voices in contemporary jazz, like Wheeler, and Smith’s intriguing and adventurous tribute to pianist John Taylor, “Taylor Made.”
Think Like This emerges as a break-through project for American audiences who may have seen Gary Husband playing drums with unparalleled ferocity alongside guitarist Allan Holdsworth, and may not have witnessed his genius as a keyboardist with Billy Cobham’s touring ensemble of recent years. Despite all these players playing in well known rock ensembles, and alongside jazz fusion’s royalty, they have a profound love and understanding in which the appreciation of lyrical jazz masters like Bill Evans and Jarett inform the foundation of the music. And yet there is an edge here that surges forth like a tsunami of melody and rhythm which gathers force, rocks like a son-of-a-bitch, submerges the listener in the process, and sweeps us away with panache! This is an audiophile recording, and Smith’s production team went to the trouble of obtaining the finest Steinway concert grand for the session. At the same time, Gary Husband, known to strike awe and dismay into all aspiring drummers reveals himself as a long hidden talent as one of jazz’s most capable pianists and improvisers on that instrument—his explorations are daring and inventive, and always satisfying. It’s a recording that aspires to and perhaps surpasses ECM production values—and with Husband occasionally blending and switching to moog synth and Fender Rhodes, it reminds of the early and mid-70s, and a string of great ECM titles that elevated the concept of jazz fusion to high art. All the same, Think Like This delivers us a wealth of new musical ideas while retaining appeal that is sure to sway those that like their piano trios playing jazz straight with no chaser….
(contributor, Jazziz, L.A. Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Music Technology)