The Tommy Smith Quartet Embodying the Light at the Queen’s Hall featuring the impressive combined talents of Tommy Smith (Sax), Sebastiaan de Krom (Drums), Calum Gourlay (Bass) and Peter Johnstone (Piano) was simply a performance that any lovers of the classic sounds of Jazz could just sit back, listen to and enjoy.
“Embodying the Light” is the title of the new album from The Tommy Smith Quartet on which some of the classic, and now iconic, compositions of John Coltrane are explored and performed along with new compositions from Tommy Smith in homage to one of his musical heroes.
I don’t want to give too much of this set away as there are some performance dates left in the tour schedule, but there are some musically impressive outings here with performances of John Coltrane classics including “Dear Lord” and “The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost”. For myself, I am, like most people in the hall probably were, well aware of the music of John Coltrane and his inspired contributions to music, but my knowledge of both is at a fairly superficial level and restricted to hearing some of these compositions previously only on vinyl records or CDs, so it was a great opportunity to see and hear some of these classics not only performed live, but performed by musicians of this standard who not only have such a deep understanding of the material but huge respect for John Coltrane and his music, and the pleasure at performing it live was evident throughout the show.
“Embodying the Light” of course also has newly composed material and the title track is perfectly balanced with its mirror “Embodying the Darkness”. The fusion between jazz classics and newly composed material is pretty seamless and a perfect homage to one of the great musicians (not just in Jazz) of his time – John Coltrane.
Tommy Smith also has a solo concert coming up very soon at St James Scottish Episcopal Church in Leith, Edinburgh on 10th February.
Review by Tom King