Text Box: JAZZ AUTOGRAPHS

Price: $150.00

MINT CONDITION

Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247

 

Autographed original 8” x 10” matte, double-weight Al White autographed photograph of the legendary British jazz pianist.

 

Smith (1931-2016) was born in East London where he started taking classical piano lessons at seven. Influenced by a recording of Art Tatum he began to mimic that style of play and made his first paycheck playing at a VE Day celebration at 14.  Once he hit adulthood he took a job selling insurance by day and playing with Kenny Graham’s Afro Cubists in Soho.  He also began to record with them and other local combos.  He did his national service in the Royal Air Corps from 1949-1951.  He continued to sell insurance by day and play in clubs at night until 1954 when he gave up the day job to play with the John Dankworth Orchestra for a year.  In 1955 he formed the New Jazz Group with drummer Allan Ganley.  In 1956 he played with Kenny Baker’s Dozen, got married and in 1957 emigrated to the United States.  He never looked back that said initially he couldn’t join the union, so he was shut out for a few years from major gigs.  His formed a trio in New York the same year with the help of John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet with Connie Kay and Percy Heath, playing in clubs and recording.  Mel Tormé used them as his instrumentalists for a recording before he could join the union.  In 1961 he formed the British Jazz Trio with John Drew and Kenny Harris.  Benny Goodman caught him playing and hired him for his 1961 South African Big Band Tour.  In 1962, Smith met trumpeter Doc Severinson who was appointed bandleader of the Tonight Show in 1967 and he immediately hired him as the show pianist.  Smith stayed with the show until it moved to California in 1972, not wanting to give up his studio gigs in New York City.  He then joined the orchestra of the Dick Cavett Show, led by drummer Bobby Rosengarden.  The pianist did not rest on his laurels and assembled another trio with bassists Milt Hinton and George Duvivier, a novel concept. Benny Carter took him on a tour of Japan in 1983.  He later would form a trio with Hinton and drummer Bobby Rosengarden.  As a side man Smith recorded extensively with, Burt Bacharach, Louie Bellson, Nick Brignola, Sammy Cahn, Placido Domingo, Buddy DeFranco, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Luciano Pavarotti, Sal Salvador, Marlena Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Bill Watrous….even Robert Palmer! 

           PAUL SMITH - PIANIST & BANDLEADER