Smith exemplifies his tasteful treatment of song book standards in a medium-tempo stroll through Frank Loesser's I've Never Been in Love Before," making thoughtful use of space to let the organ and the listener breathe. With Jamire Williams's drums roiling and guitarist Jonathan Kreisbserg playing ostinato patterns, Smith makes Rodgers and Hart's I Didn't Know What Time it Was" an exercise in compelling forward motion. He flirts with ¾ time in Sweet and Lovely" without fully committing to it. The resulting rhythmic tension develops a push that energizes his and Kreisberg's solos. Beehive," with its buzzing air of menace, would be perfect for the opening credits in a Stanley Kubrick movie starring Jack Nicholson. Smith takes Slide Hampton's Frame for the Blues" at a metronome pace of about 56 that would seem glacial if he and his sidemen didn't invest it with powerhouse oomph and blues feeling that make it, to these ears, the album's stealth piece de resistance.
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