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Daniel Smith: Bebop Bassoon

- CD Reviews

Daniel Smith: Bebop Bassoon
2006 Zah Zah Records


Daniel Smith on Bassoon
Martin Bejerano on Piano
John Sullivan on Bass
Ludwig Afonso on Drums

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 6, 2006

This is a fascinating new recording, with Daniel Smith on bassoon, in numerous jazz works, that would otherwise feature trumpet or sax. He chooses the best of the best, pieces by Coltrane, Gillespie, Golson, Monk, (Miles) Davis, Rollins, Parker, and more. Daniel Smith showcases the bassoon, out of its more common, classical milieu, and he presents a new and refreshing sound.

Notable tracks:

#3 –Blue Monk – Composed by Thelonius Monk. Martin Bejerano opens this track with a melodic solo, closely joined by Daniel Smith. Bejerano is fast rising in the jazz scene, with versatility and breezy blending. Bejerano and Smith switch and combine leads, while the melody meanders to a close.

#5 –In a Sentimental Mood – Composed by Duke Ellington. In this song, one of my favorite tracks, Smith towers over the band with moody bliss. The clarity of the deep bassoon is noteworthy, and Ludwig Afonso, on prominent percussion, joined by John Sullivan, on bass, provide a strong, resonant backup.

#6–All Blues – Composed by Miles Davis. John Sullivan opens this well known Miles Davis standard. Smith carries the theme, while Sullivan plays a contrasting rhythm, before Bejerano turns it into a contemporary riff.

#8 –Up Against the Wall – Composed by John Coltrane. This track is notable for an extended drum riff by Afonso, amidst Smith’s prominent and powerful bassoon lead. Coltrane’s piece is jumping and kicking and never sounded quite like this.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at