Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Marvin "Smitty" Smith- The Neighborhood


In 1989 I was an ambitious assistant manager at a record store. Many of my colleagues were disinterested teenagers. I also loved Madonna, Neneh Cherry and the B-52s. But no way was I going to tolerate much in-store play of Bon Jovi, Martika and N.W.A. We listened to a lot of Paul's Boutique, 3 Feet High and Rising, Yellow Moon, Nick of Time and Doolittle that year. Yet every time I threw on jazz, my co-workers became apoplectic. Miles, Trane, Chet, Sarah- they hated all of it. The Road Less Traveled saved the day. The Marvin "Smitty" Smith album's melodic strength and constant groove pleased Metallica dudes, 2 Live Crew nitwits and Top 40 fans alike. It's been one of my favorites ever since. That's James Williams on piano, Wallace Roney on trumpet, Robin Eubanks on trombone and Robert Hurst on bass. This video shows Smith working with Don Pullen and John Scofield.

I'll confess that I didn't know anything about Tomahawk until a guy at a record store set me straight last week. Progressive noise and math-rock stars riffing off of Native American music? It somehow works.

Kansas City Click: All the cool kids will be at the Record Bar tonight for Battles. The Pixel Panda open.

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