Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jon R. Smith: White Trash, Michael Brecker, Philip Glass

"I used to occasionally hang out with Mike Brecker in NYC. We would both be sitting in with Paula Lockhart who had Howie Wyeth playing drums…Brecker told me that two of his favorite players were Jim Pepper and Jon Smith."

“Jon’s sound is instantaneously recognized, something only a handful of players have, with a tone that’s as big as a house, and a big vibrato that’s characteristic of a gospel singers…If I were putting together a horn section, Jon would be my absolute first choice.”
Edgar Winter
Windplayer Magazine

In Part One of an exclusive interview with SOTW, legendary sax great Jon R. Smith discusses his career and influences, including the early days in New Orleans, great sax players from Louisiana and Texas, the formation of Edgar Winter's "White Trash", meeting Michael Brecker, group dynamics, ego and solos, Philip Glass and more...

This two-part interview is adding up to other Sax on the Web interviews by Neil Sharpe.
There are several mp3-files and music videos from Jon's early career. 

One tidbit from the interview:
White Trash

A lot of the music business is about being in the right place at the right time. Usually that means a lot of hard work to put yourself in that position but, sometimes, lady luck can make a big difference. I was coming out of a music store in New York City, when I ran into my old buddies Edgar Winter and Jerry Lacroix. Seems that Edgar’s brother, the terrific blues guitarist Johnny Winter, had got them an audition which led to a recording contract with Clive Davis and Epic Records. They asked if I’d be interested in joining the band. A three-story house had been rented in Woodstock, New York. Halfway through the question, I’d already started to pack!

“I have followed him since he left Edgar Winter’s White Trash…I couldn’t leave Antone’s until I knew he’d played his last note of the night.”
Will Lee
Late Night with David Letterman Band
Austin American-Statesman 

“Never mind the superlatives, [Jon Smith plays] some of the highest caliber blues to be found…One longtime blues veteran compared his playing to Cannonball Adderley, saying ‘Smith is so good, he’s almost out of control’.”
Austin Chronicle

1 comment:

RennyBA's Terella said...

What great contributions to jazz legends!

Wishing you a great Sunday too :-)