In Common

Long time musical associates Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens perform in a multiplicity of projects at the vanguard of the international jazz & improvised music scene, touring and recording with Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian Scott, Terence Blanchard, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Bill Stewart and Roy Haynes as well as their own respective groups. They first collaborated in 2017, gathering a wish-list band of musical peers, booking a studio, and presenting them with compositions written for the occasion. The resulting album was widely praised for its freshness and spontaneity and they’ve returned with ‘In Common 2’ to explore the same parameters, adjusting the personnel to produce an intriguingly different but equally dynamic album. “We loved the way it turned out” says Smith “We had the opportunity to do something different together: what I like to call ‘One Page Songs’ – simple forms, so that we can just show up and get to the music quicker” As in the first project, Smith and Stevens picked a selection of their favourite rhythm section players of mutual acquaintance – Linda Oh on bass and Nate Smith on drums – plus a player from a different generation, so that rising piano star Micah Thomas takes the place of Joel Ross’ vibes. The material was specially written to suit the character of the resulting band, favouring short, concise statements of melody – ‘We’re trying to do something different from what we’d do on our own. We’re going off what we imagine the band will sound like, and continuing to focus on being direct, melodic and interactive.” from bandcamp

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