As a bandleader in the 1960s and ’70s, Smith wrote timeless music — and secured that label during the ’80s and ’90s, when hip-hop producers sampled his work left and right. NPR’s Arun Rath speaks with Smith on the occasion of a new album that revives the out-of-print gems of a six-decade career.
The jazz vibraphone pioneer played with Stan Getz and Chick Corea, was an early adopter of jazz fusion, and became the Dean of Berklee College of Music. He’s now past retirement age, but in a session with guitarist Julian Lage, his flying four-mallet technique hasn’t slowed a bit.
Anderson shares his “musical memoir” of growing up in 1960s Chicago with a live version of his Sweet Chicago Suite at the Newport Jazz Festival. His scaled-down Pocket Brass Band aims to sound like a full-sized jazz marching band.
When their busy schedules align, the three jazz sidemen come together as a trio. Their format isn’t earth-shatteringly new — it’s built on classic sonorities in which Hammond B3 organ meets electric guitar — but after nearly 25 years as a band, their rapport is. Watch a live concert.
He had gigs before and enjoyed prominent freelance work afterward. But the mellow saxophone and flute player’s career was kickstarted by spending more than a decade in the front row of Count Basie’s “New Testament” band.