An exciting new direction for leading Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith's brand new band, Karma combines virtuosic musicianship and powerhouse, grooving rhythms with atmospheric textures evoking Irish, Scottish, Indian, Japanese and Arabic folk influences. A major statement from an internationally renowned master.
Tommy Smith: Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Shakuhatchi, Synth
Steve Hamilton: Piano, Synth, Tamborine
Kevin Glasgow: Electric Bass
Alyn Coskser: Drums
1. Cause and Effect
2. Land of Heroes
3. Good Deed
4. Body or Soul
10. Who Are You?
Smith's toughest and most creative group yet?" The Scotsman
The result overall is music that's immediately appealing and allows the musicians scope to demonstrate their considerable virtuosity within well defined structures." The Herald
By Kenny Mathieson | The Scotsman (29 March 2011)
Tommy Smith has explored many directions over the years, and Karma adds another to that list with a shift into a more groove- and rock-based idiom. The band made their debut in a superb concert at last year's Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and this disc, recorded the following day, bears out the powerful impression the music made that night.
Smith's saxophone playing bristles with invention and a majestic sonority, both in the up-tempo workouts and the more folk-influenced ballads, with their keening, Garbarek-like sound. Alyn Cosker's powerful but subtle drumming is the perfect driver for this kind of project, and is ably supported by Kevin Glasgow's virtuoso electric bass playing. Pianist Steve Hamilton both solos and accompanies to great effect in a band that is fulfilling my post-concert prediction that it may prove to be his toughest and most creative quartet yet.
5 Star *****