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Smith, Warren and The Composer's Workshop Ensemble: Old News Borrowed Blues (Engine)

Drummer Warren Smith's Composer's Workshop Ensemble with a large horn section, guitar, violin, 2 African percussionists and 2 drummer/vibraphone players.

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product information:

UPC: 753182109756

Label: Engine
Catalog ID: e027
Squidco Product Code: 11768

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Produced and engineered by Steven Walcott at Ghetto Sound Lab, Brooklyn, NY.


John Carlton-trumpet, flugelhorn

Cecil Bridgewater-trumpet, flugelhorn

Joe Daley-euphonium

Jack Jeffers-bass trombone

Craig Rivers-soprano sax

James Stewart-tenor sax

Douglas yates-alto sax

Andrew Lamb-tenor sax (River State Suite)

Claire Daly-baritone sax

Jeribu Shahid-bass violin

Yoham "Chiqui" Ortiz-guitar

Elusegun Sangofemi-African percussion

Jose Abreu-African percussion

Lloyd Haber-drums, vibraphone, percussion

Warren Smith-drums, vibraphone, percussion

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track listing:

1. Lock The Toilet Door 8:21

2. Rivers State Suite I 6:22

3. Rivers State Suite II 3:35

4. Rivers State Suite III 8:04

5. The Hungarian Gypsy Song 7:04

6. One More Lick For Harold Vick 6:42

7. Free Froms I 6:35

8. Free Froms II 4:51

9. Free Froms III 5:24

10. Free Froms IV 4:35

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"On Old News Borrowed Blues Warren Smith gathers the Composer's Workshop Ensemble to explore his approach to music, which he refers to as 'a little bit inside, a little bit outside.' Starting the album out with an energetic big band opener, "Lock the Toilet Door", the band follows up with "Rivers State Suite", a polyrhythmic multi-segment tone poem inspired by a trip to Nigeria. "The Hungarian Gypsy Song" features a haunting melody on soprano sax with tasteful backup from the rest of the band. After another more traditional big band number, "One More Lick for Harold Vick", the album closes with the sprawling avant "Free Forms 1-4", a less structured open piece with intro bass work, a over the top baritone sax solo followed by solos from other horns and vibes, and a closing poem read by Warren Smith."-Engine Studios

Artist Biographies:

"Warren Smith (born May 14, 1934) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist, known as a contributor to Max Roach's M'boom ensemble and leader of the Composer's Workshop Ensemble (Strata-East).

Smith was born May 14, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois to a musical family. His father played saxophone and clarinet with Noble Sissle and Jimmie Noone, and his mother was a harpist and pianist. At the age of four he studied studied clarinet with his father. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1957, then received a master's degree in percussion from the Manhattan School of Music in 1958.

One of his earliest major recording dates was with Miles Davis as a vibraphonist in 1957. He found work in Broadway pit bands in 1958, and also played with Gil Evans that year. In 1961 he co-founded the Composers Workshop Ensemble. In the 1960s Smith accompanied Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Lloyd Price, and Nat King Cole; he worked with Sam Rivers from 196476 and with Gil Evans again from 1968 to 1976. In 1969 he played with Janis Joplin and in 1971 with King Curtis and Tony Williams. He was also a founding member of Max Roach's percussion ensemble, M'Boom, in 1970.

In the 1970s and 1980s Smith had a loft called Studio Wis which acted as a performing and recording space for many young New York jazz musicians, such as Wadada Leo Smith and Oliver Lake. Through the 1970s Smith played with Andrew White, Julius Hemphill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, and Carmen McRae. Other credits include extensive work with rock and pop musicians and time spent with Anthony Braxton, Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill, Van Morrison, and Joe Zawinul. He continued to work on Broadway into the 1990s, and has performed with a number of classical ensembles.

Smith taught in the New York City public school system from 1958 to 1968, at Third Street Settlement from 1960 to 1967, at Adelphi University in 19701, and at SUNY-Old Westbury from 1971."

-Wikipedia (

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