Smooth Jazz Guitar

reviews/anecdotes

Here are some recent press releases and reviews, as well as some funny and some funky anecdotes and things that have happened to me during my career. Check here periodically for new reviews and press releases  as I will be adding them from time to time as they come out. The reviews will cover my smooth jazz guitar releases , as well as my straight ahead jazz guitar stuff and whatever else I decide to create musically that ends up on a reviewer's desk! Feel free to contact me with any questions and enjoy them!

 Jimi Hendrix fanzine Voodoo Child #78:

Greg Smith – Beyond (Greg Smith)

“Castles Made Of Sand”

Smooth jazz, modern harmonies of contemporary classical music, a pinch of bebop, blues and rock are all fused with the free flow of the melodic acoustic guitar tones from Greg Smith that culminate in a gorgeous guitar album. Having been compared to Pat Metheny (who he studied with at Berklee College of Music), Michael Brecker and Alex DeGrassi, Smith is known as a chord melody specialist.

Beyond is a masterful collection of tunes from the pop, jazz and classical worlds, performed on solo acoustic guitar in a playful, improvisatory style that certainly grabs your attention.

Smith is not a songwriter, but an interpreter. “A good song is one of the highest art forms,” he says, “a perfection of melody, harmony and rhythm with a message that transcends the ages and the physical.” He says these are some of his favorite songs with covers ranging from “Every Breath You Take” to “Yesterday” to “My Cheri Amour” to “Here Comes The Sun” to “When You Wish Upon A Star”. As a guitar album, it wouldn’t be complete with Hendrix.

“Hendrix is a major influence as I evolved as a guitar player,” Smith tells us. “My youth consisted of neighborhood pranks, teasing my sisters and the permeating influence of Jimi Hendrix's music. When I first heard the feedback interwoven into the beautiful guitar work on ‘Third Stone from the Sun’ it changed my life.

“I bought Axis: Bold As Love soon after it came out,” recalls Smith. “The tune ‘Castles Made of Sand’ for some reason struck a live nerve in me. I’ve always loved ‘Castles’ and thought it would make a nice solo instrumental piece. I arranged it for solo guitar and played it for years on my gigs and I had to include it on my solo guitar CD Beyond as an old friend.”

And that it is, with an exquisite example of the song in an acoustic guitar dimension.

Smith has recently composed material for a string quartet and a fantasia for full orchestra, viola, and bassoon. Currently he performs weekly around the greater Tampa Bay area as a solo acoustic guitarist, as well as with numerous duos, the Heartdance band . He works as a studio musician and arranger for Artists Career Services. (2011)

Review of Valgar by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 4.4
Smooth groove
Smooth, latin jazz feel in the intro. nice, relaxed guitar melody,
well played. nice bass lines and mellow percussion.

Review of Valgar by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz 4.4
Nice
Nice guitar solö I like your song, it grooves and has a nice mood to
it. very nice I like it, it really sounds groovy.

Extra Credit: Guitars, Melody, Beat, Mood, Grooviest Rhythm.

Review of Valgar by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 4.4

Guitar
Very talented guitarist here.
Just dripping with a steamy sensuality that is very engaging, but
played with a tempered hand that speaks of many years experience.
Some very impressive licks bursting through on this track. The progression takes a nice turn toward resolution around 4:14 Very well done.

Extra Credit: Guitars. Review of Valgar by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 4.
WOW! NICE SAMBA STYLE, AND A GUITARIST DELIGHT OF A SONG! YOU'VE JUST CURED
MY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE FELLAS! LOL! SMOOTHE, INVITING, AND SIMPLY AN
UNCOMPLICATED SONG! YOUR SONG'S CHORD STRUCTURES ARE NEVER PREDICTABLE
OR BORING. VERY NICE CHILL MUSIC FOR A RESTAURANT OR BY MY FIREPLACE
WITH MY HONEY! (smilin)

Extra Credit: Guitars, Drums, Bass, Production, Melody, Beat, Mood,
Originality, Coolest Chill-Out Track. Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 3.4

Nice job
Very nice melody, the lead guitar is awesome and mood is about the
relax the whole neighbourhood.
Cool, I like it.
Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 3.4
Good
I like how the guitar starts off the music and is the lead instrument.
it sounds like a new style of jazz to me. lead guitar is awesome it
completes the song. mood is awesome that this song puts off good job
on that. This is a good song, keep it up.

Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 3.4
RYDERS ON THE STORM?
THAT'S THE FEEL I IMMEDIATELY GOT FROM THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR ENTRANCE.
PLAYED VERY NICELY TOO, IN FACT! OK, NOW YOU'RE REMINDING ME OF S.
AFRICA'S JONATHAN BUTLER! OK, I CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING! YOU
OBVIOUSLY "SLEEP, EAT, DRINK AND READ" ACOUSTIC GUITAR 24/7/365 RIGHT?
HOW IS IT THAT YOU CAN DO... WITH ONE DAMN INSTRUMENT (Theoretically),
WHAT OTHERS CAN'T SEEM TO DO WITH, "LEAD & BACKGROUND VOCALS, OTHER
ACCOMPANYING INSTRUMENTS AND SYNTHESIZERS AND OTHER FANCY PROGRAMS?"
WELL, I GET IT! BUT I WONDER IF THEY'LL EVER BE READY FOR YOU! YOU'RE
VERY ENTERTAINING AND ABSOLUTELY AWE INSPIRING! BY THE WAY, CAN YOU
GIVE A BROTHA SOME BEGINNER GUITAR LESSONS? LOL!

Extra Credit: Guitars, Production, Melody, Mood, Originality, Most
Rocking Track.
Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 3.4

Right From the Start
I am carried away by this song as if on a horse riding the clouds,
very upbeat, yet calming and cooling, the mood is both uplifting and a
tiny bit melancholy. The melody is memorable, which makes this song great as a movie theme,
but I wish for vocals to carry the vision further.
Extra Credit: Guitars, Melody, Mood, Best Potential Movie Soundtrack.
Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith - Genre: Jazz 3.4

Surprisingly good. not a listener of jazz, but this is really good,
nice and instrumental. I like it.

Review of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz 3.4

NIce guitar work from the top
Real cool choice of notes, good melody I could see this getting radio
airplay easily, good work. Of course I would love to hear some hand
percussion work in there, at least a shaker. NIce work. Oh and the
mood is nice

Extra Credit: Guitars, Production, Mood.


view of Mountain Hike by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz 3.4

Amazing!!!!
This song is breathtaking. It sounds somewhat farmiliar, but original
at the some time. I loved the guitar intro and melody. It sounds
melacholy and so emotional. I was crying by the end. The playing is
excellent, as is the beat. The upbeat rhythm and sad feel make me give
it a 5. Bravo!


Extra Credit: Guitars, Melody, Originality, Grooviest Rhythm.




Review of Orchestral Fantasia.. by Greg Smith
Genre: Classical


disturbing
Great sound track, good quality product values, engaging type of
sound. Well played and put together.

Review of Orchestral Fantasia.. by Greg Smith
Genre: Classical

Contemporary
This song definitely breaks the mold--does many things that I
guarantee go outside of my own comfort zone as a composer. While not
entirely leaving the tonal world, this piece goes into foreign modes,
scales, and ideas that are much more complex that most that are being
used nowadays.
But still, 8:14 of obviously electronic instruments gets just a bit
grating. This excellent work of art COMPLETELY deserves some real
instruments! Definitely not your in-the-box thinker, with some of
these melodies and chord progressions. Keeps creating incredible new
ideas, stuff that I've never heard before.
Only criticisms--overt use of the solo strings instrument eventually
gets just a little bit tiring. It's nice to hear it stating the melody
before hand, but instead of using precious time on the solo
instrument, build up to more climaxes!
Then at 6:16, it seems to lose its daring, exploring feel and goes
into all-too-familiar keys, using the simple timpani and flute and
strings ideas a few times to end what was otherwise an incredibly
original and impressive points. NOT going to lose you any points for
originality or melody! Excellent job overall, I'd love to see who
composed this masterpiece!

Extra Credit: Programming, Melody, Originality.

eview of Figaro Tree by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz

It's a trip!
Wow! Pretty origional, I can't think of anything that sounds quit like
it. Well written/recorded, would love to hear it live in a coffey shop
or lounge. Guitar is complex and tight for the most part. I really
like the little break down twards the end. I'd like to hear some more
of their stuff.
Great Tune!

Peace


Extra Credit: Guitars, Keyboards, Production, Originality, Coolest
Chill-Out Track.


eview of Figaro Tree by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz

country jazz
fine rhtm guit to wait the solo one - acoustic guitars - they play as
good as they can - and they are nice - mood similar to Genesis
sometimes, to Metheny sometimes - I like the solo when it's going to
bass register - a little less technique and a little too heart will
let this a hit.

then here cames the fiddles - alive, I think - [GOOD GOOD] then the
duo rhtm+solo guits came back to end the tale.


Extra Credit: Guitars, Originality, Coolest Chill-Out Track.



- vinsilmcjagger
Review of Forties by Greg Smith
Genre: Jazz

Slick groove
Nice slick little tune. Would fit in a tv show. I mean that in a good
way!
Sounds like an experiment.



- breckerbrothers

- Garageband.com reviews (Aug 26, 2006)

Greg Smith CD Release Party on September 16, 2006

Greg Smith
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

*Tampa Based Composer, Guitarist Displays
Depth, Beauty and Technical Prowess on His Release “Above the Clouds” *

CD RELEASE PARTY

Greg Smith will be releasing “Above the Cloud, ” on Saturday September
16, 2006, in his home town of Tampa, Florida. “Above the Clouds” is a
warm blend of smooth-jazz, world music and new age, in a rich tapestry
of Americana, served up in a style uniquely rooted in Smith’s
experiences.

Smith has been a vital part of the music scene since 1966. Having
attended Berklee College of Music, Smith picked up the basics for
formulating his unique approach to the guitar and composition from
influences in school, mentors, and personal experiences that come from
many years on the bandstand. Smith has studied with Pat Metheny, Larry
Coryell and Manfredo Fest.

Some of his highlight performances have been with such icons as; Chick
Corea, Larry Coryell, Edgar Winter, Juliette Lewis and many others.
These opportunities to share the bandstand with these greats have
further shaped Greg Smith into the player and composer he is today.
“Above the Clouds, ” is a culmination of these experiences. Please
join Smith and his quartet “Above the Clouds, ” as he debuts the cuts
to his latest release with audiences in Florida on September 16, 2006
at A Taste for Wine, it’s guaranteed to raise your awareness to a
whole new level.

Robert Silverstein of 20th Century Guitar describes Smiths latest
release. Mixing straight ahead and smooth jazz, Brazilian and a touch
of new age, guitarist Greg Smith strives towards gaining his own voice
in the guitar world and finds it with his 2006 CD Above the Clouds. In
the spirit of some of Pat Metheny’s jazzier , less ethereal acoustic
moments, Smith’s instrumental guitar sounds often defies easy category
but either way he grooves the spirit is quite strong on Above the
Clouds. Having studied in the early ‘70s at Berklee with Metheny,
Larry Coryell and Jeff Berlin, the Florida based Smith is hardly a
novice and throughout the CD he demonstrates a masterful touch on his
PRS, Taylor, Gitane and Yamaha guitars, Above the Clouds is a
well-recorded CD filled with memorable guitar sounds.


Who: Greg Smith and his quartet
When: Saturday, September 16, 2006 Time: 8:30- 11:00
Where: A Taste for Wine, 241 Central Ave St Pete, Florida 33701
Venue Phone: (727)895 1623
Tickets: Free to Public
Press Contact: Kari Gaffney, Kari-On Productions – 706.294.9996 -
karionprod@knology.net
Photos: www.gregsmithguitar.com
E-press Kit: www.karionpresskits.com

Kari-On Productions P.O. Box 436, Evans, GA. 30809 tel: 706.294.9996
fax: 706.210.9453

- Jazz and Blues News (Aug 26, 2006)

GREG SMITH/Above the Clouds: Here's a guitar cat that has an impressive
pedigree, has been at it for 40 years and wraps the sum total of his
experience around this smooth jazz collection that is just that out of
the
ordinary jazz item you are looking for when the usual suspects seem to
preoccupied with fitting the format and you need some meat to chomp
down on.
Smooth jazz with an edge, this is the kind of cocktail music you want
playing when you let the day slide off your shoulder at quitting time and
need something to help you ease into the next stage. Tasty work that
acquits itself nicely.

- www.midwesternrecord.com (Aug 28, 2006)