Perry Smith – Peace (2021)

Perry Smith - Peace (2021)
Artist: Perry Smith
Album: Peace
Label: Smith Tone Records
Year Of Release: 2021
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
01. This Nearly Was Mine
02. Cyclic Episode
03. Darn That Dream
04. Upper Manhattan Medical Group
05. Like Somone In Love
06. Peace
07. A Child Is Born
08. I Remember You
09. Alone Together

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For guitarist/composer/bandleader/educator Perry Smith, standards are an integral part of his life as a musician, accompanying him on the ups and downs of life, providing a landscape for him to explore, and improvise on, from his heart. Smith elaborates, “I had been interested in recording a trio album of standards to really draw the listener in through classic melodies, dynamics and the natural sound of my Gibson ES-175. Using a traditional archtop hollow body, my style of jazz guitar can really work with a sensitive and swinging rhythm section like Schnelle and Minaie. I chose to record a variety of standards that have meant a lot to me over the years, and what I discovered is that as my own life experiences have unfolded, my connection to these songs, and what I have to offer musically has only gotten deeper. It leaves me with an immense amount of gratitude for these standards.”

The genesis of Peace (available April 23, 2021 on Smith Tone Records) materialized in November of 2019 when Smith found himself on the road with two old friends and great musicians, Los Angeles drummer Dan Schnelle and NYC bassist Sam Minaie. Musically, and personally, this trio is thick as thieves, having all coming up together in Southern California about two decades ago, and creating music together for many years. The trio recorded the album on a day off in LA. After the initial trio recording Smith returned to LA in February, 2020 to mix the album and record three solo guitar tracks (“A Child Is Born”, “I Remember You” and “Alone Together”). “I wanted to close out the album in a more intimate way and provide some contrast to the trio. Solo jazz guitar has always been a big part of my artistic path. I view the guitar as an orchestra and each string a separate voice. Playing solo gives me an opportunity to shape the song exactly as I’m hearing it in the moment. Solo guitar is kind of like walking on a tight rope, if you’re centered and in the zone, it feels so natural,” says Smith.

The standards of the jazz tradition are a very rich and valued trove of music that can accompany you through joy, lamentation, celebration and sorrow. Whether it’s a song by Jimmy Van Heusen or Sam Rivers, these compositions have stood the test of time, and have provided countless generations of listeners and musicians with a foundation on which to build, on which to express oneself; a vast source of solace, entertainment delight, triggering/making memories, serving as the “cornerstone of the jazz repertoire” (Ted Gioia, The Jazz Standards), and providing the soundtrack to many of our lives.

“In these trying times where all our lives and careers have been upended by a pandemic, I offer this album as a soothing escape from the daily headlines. We could all use a little more Peace in our lives and I hope this album provides listeners some comfort through these turbulent times,” says Smith.

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