9/2/2018 - Gig Review Josh Smith – Worthing Pier's Southern Pavilion.
The thing about Thelonius Monk is that he only ever played his own tunes. His motivation was that he hoped his tunes would become part of the Jazz vernacular,which in due course, they did. One of those tunes was a funny little ditty called “Well You needn't”. The chords move up and down in a funny chromatic way and , myself, I could never be much bothered with it. However when Josh Smith pitched the melody into the middle of on him epic solos, I could not help but giggle just a bit.
Smith's guitar playing is quite frankly, monumental. He uses every trick in the book. Great sonics, great rhythmic interjections, and uses a far richer pallet of melodic colour than your traditional blues guitarist. I pray to St Thomas that other blues guitarists would quote from the jazz bible.
Oh, and the only good scales are those with twelve notes in them! And Smith used all of them. He combines blues, jazz and country in a perfect mix
This is Smith's first solo UK tour, using a British rhythm section – Jonathan Noyce on bass and Wez The Drummer (?) on drums. They smashed it! Combine that with my first visit to this lovely venue and passionate knowledgable packed crowd and the result was a remarkable a special evening. And Smith is special. He is a cut above your average blues guitarist. He is bringing new ideas and a new energy to the party which is rare in this world. There are some great YouTubes out there which I have been watching for some time. Live, there is a good deal more energy that I expected.
Highlights were the terrific ballad “Penance” and the final (but one) number which saw support act Ariel Posen, another superb player is his own right, take to the stage to play a cover of a Meters tune. Posen has this remarkable way on blending slide and fretted notes seamlessly.
An extraordinary gig by any standards.