Posts Tagged ‘ Sean O’Bryan Smith ’

Sean O’Bryan Smith – Tapestry

Bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith injects a little soul, a little jazz, a little blues and a lot of passion with Tapestry (2012).

An accomplished composer, musician and clinician, Smith has worked alongside many in the world of contemporary or smooth jazz. Among them are Larry Carlton, Esperanza Spalding, Chuck Loeb and Gerald Albright.

“El Corazon” is a hard-charging piece with a Spanish vibe. Smith opens with an ethereal bass solo before the rest of the band comes in. Whether in lead or providing the backing rhythm, Smith firmly establishes the groove and holds it together.

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Sean O’Bryan Smith – Reflection

Sean O’Bryan Smith is one of the rare bassists, who can live as a professional session musician. Those, which are not familiar with his name, I can inform about his collaboration with Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, and more. Friends of jazz will know him by his performance with Michael Brecker, Roy Haynes, Kevin Mahogany, Eddie Palmieri, Fattburger, and Jamie Cullum.

He started his solo career with the album Tapestry (2011). His sophomore album Reflection was released July 17th on Groove Therapy Records. Among the team of musical supporters we find guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Tommy Ogle and pianist-songwriter Jeff Franzel.

When evaluating the selection of his songs for Sean, the first song speaks a lot for a religious background. How Great Thou Art is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg. The melody is a Swedish folk song. On the other hand Sean approaches the song from a popular side with a jazzy bridge, which has in the overall context more the character of an intruder.

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Sean O’Bryan Smith – Reflection

A beatific album of hymns and inspired originals shepherded by bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith and anointed by an accomplished minion of 23 musicians, Reflection will be released July 17th on Groove Therapy Records.  Smith produced and arranged the offering of soul, contemporary jazz and gospel selections that comprise the second solo album from the in-demand bass player.  Previewing the 12-song disc, the rousing rocker “Blessed Be Your Name” featuring guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Tommy Ogle and pianist-songwriter Jeff Franzel (Taylor Swift, *NSYNC, Clay Aiken) goes for radio adds June 11th.

Three years in the making, Reflection was conceived as Smith listened to hymnals and spirituals at church while on break from touring.  After creating fresh arrangements for classics such as opener “How Great Thou Art,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” and celestial covers “Blessed Be Your Name,” “Give Me Jesus,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Yes You Have,” he composed two originals.  “Called” is an infectious soul-jazz groove graced by Gerald Albright’s soaring sax while the record’s title track is a thought-provoking spoken word sermon delivered faithfully by Malcolm Jamal-Warner.  Franzel contributed a third original, “Me Without You,” an aching torch song blessed with Lisa Hearns’ yearning voice.

Throughout “Reflection,” Smith coaxes robust rhythms and divine melodies from his four- and five-string basses, six-string fretless bass, upright bass and piccolo bass.  Other prominent soloists on the album are Randy Brecker’s prayerful trumpet on “Give Me Jesus” and Frank Catalano’s saxophone on the New Orleans-flavored march “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and the soul-stirring “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.” Continue reading