Review of Daniel Smith's
'Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues'

Given that the bassoon is not an instrument associated within the blues-jazz scene, special attention is drawn to the new album of Daniel Smith, called by critics as the 'Gerry Mulligan of the Bassoon'. The music on this release has already proved beyond a doubt that his playing is second to none, both in jazz and classical....his recordings of the complete 37 Vivaldi bassoon concertos was named album of the year for lovers of classical music.

In recent years, Daniel Smith has shown the world that the bassoon can be a unique and recognized jazz instrument with his many stylistically different albums, such as 'Bebop Bassoon','The Swingin' Bassoon', 'Blue Bassoon' and 'Bassoon Goes Latin Jazz'. his latest jazz album project is 'Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues', filled with many blues standards. Among these are such as 'What'd I Say' and 'Hallelujah I Love Her So' by Ray Charles, 'Mamacita' by Joe Henderson', 'C Jam Blues' of Duke Ellington, 'Blue Seven' of Sonny Rollins, and Charles Mingus' 'Better Get Hit In Your Soul'.

Along with the unique and committed sound of Daniel Smith in this setting of great jazz and blues musicians, it is worth mentioning blues singer Frank Senior who catches perfectly the style of two Ray Charles pieces, great solos from pianist Robert Bosscher, jazz organist Greg 'Organ Monk' Lewis, guitarist Ron Jackson, bassist Michael O'Brien, and drummer Vince Ector, who also shared great percussion exchanges with Latin percussionist Neil Clarke on conga drums. Two of the strongest musical statements on the album are 'Senor Blues' of Horace Silver and 'What'd I Say' of Ray Charles, both enhanced by the addition of Latin percussion. Another great moment would be the bowed solo of bassist Michael O'Brien on 'Hallelujah I Love Her So', making this a great version of the gospel classic.

And then we have the use of Hammond organ with Duke Ellington's 'C Jam Blues', creating a new sound whereby the bassoon works perfectly in such a setting along with jazz organ. 'Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues' is not just a curiosity album, it is in fact a showcase of exquisite blues played with verve and fire featuring some of the greatest classics of the genre.

Robert Ratajczak , Musik & Medien (Poland)