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Live At the Montmartre

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Album Review

Although he passed away in 1967, violinist Stuff Smith (who moved to Europe in 1965) did a fair amount of recording during his final two years. His CD reissue has an exciting concert from Copenhagen's Montmartre featuring Smith with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels Pedersen, and drummer Alex Riel. Stuff Smith never did decline, as he shows on hard-swinging versions of such songs as his "Skip It," "Take the 'A' Train," "Bugle Blues," and "Mack the Knife."


Born: 14 August 1909 in Portsmouth, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Stuff Smith was one of the big three of pre-bop violinists along with Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli. Many of his fans said that he could outswing all of his competitors, and certainly Stuff was a major force on the bandstand. Smith, who cited Louis Armstrong as his main influence, studied music with his father and played with the family band as a child. His first major job and recordings were with Alphonse Trent's territory band in the 1920s, but it was not until 1936 that he had his breakthrough....
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Live At the Montmartre, Stuff Smith
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