On the 1st super snowy night in Chicago this winter, Saxophonist Al (Alto) Smith showcased music from his new CD, titled Smithology at the Musician's Mecca set at the Checkerboard in Hyde Park on Monday, December 20, 2010.
The crowd who braved the weather were in for a warm treat because Al was in great form and very comfortable in presenting with some of his long time musical friends and compadres in a mellow jazz ensemble.
The group included pianist, Mike Logan, pianist, Genevive Smith (also his mom), and Mecca musicians, guitarist, Keith Henderson, bassist, Mike Sterling, drummer, Grady and percussionist, Tony Carpenter
Al had appeared at the Jazz Showcase earlier this summer with a full scale concert of his new CD, Smithology, which celebrates his musical family and legacy.
Tonight the music was fun and funky and a variety of genres including swing, straight ahead jazz, smooth jazz, R&B and funk were presented. Pianist, Genevive Smith set a musical foundation in her pianistic presentation as she covered a historical combination of jazz piano styles including classical technique, stride piano and even some deep boogie-woogie on After Hours!
Pianist, Mike Logan and guitarist, Keith Henderson kept their flow funky and contemporary while Al just kept swinging... through standards, Christmas Songs and songs from the album. Even Mecca's Crump sat in on Santa Claus Go Straight To the Ghetto!
The open mike part of the night included a outstanding young drummer named Taylor who sat in on several songs. Taylor is a Hyde Park Kenwood Academy alum and currently is a music student at UIC, in Champaign, Urbana. She was home for the holidays and stopped in to
play at the Musician's Mecca session. Taylor was excellent and she blew the audience away with her ability to hold her own with these seasoned musicians across several different types of songs.
To check out the music , pop the video!