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A Little Sweeter

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Album Review

Jeffery Smith, whose career was helped by Shirley Horn, is a warm and expressive baritone singer who is a little reminiscent of Johnny Hartman and Billy Eckstine. On this set (his first major-label recording and second overall), he is assisted by an all-star crew: pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ray Drummond, drummer Ben Riley and occasionally trumpeter Terell Stafford and altoist Justin Robinson. Smith somehow turns "Eleanor Rigby" into a slow jazz ballad, gives a fresh take to "Lush Life," improvises a bit on "Misty" and puts plenty of spirit into "Dindi." During a period when male jazz vocalists are at a premium, Smith offers some hope.


Born: New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Jeffery Smith had a relatively late start in jazz, not recording his first jazz album as a leader until he was almost 40. He is a ballad-oriented singer with a warm baritone voice. He played the cello for many years, sang in a youth choir as a teenager, and, starting when he was 18, worked as an actor in television and films. While he occasionally sang in clubs, acting was his main profession. In 1985, Smith moved to New York, where he acted in plays. During 1991-1998 he lived in Paris, where he...
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A Little Sweeter, Jeffery Smith
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