Walter Smith III

III

(Criss Cross Jazz)

4 star rating

The supple-toned saxophonist’s storytelling confidence is grounded in a five year on-the-road apprenticeship with the likes of veteran drummer Roy Haynes and the compositionally sharp Terrence Blanchard. Smith’s tightly-argued themes similarly mask hidden depths with an attractive simplicity of line and set up improvisations flowing with intrigue and promise. In-demand creatives Jason Moran and Eric Harland are on piano and drums, and rising star Ambrose Akinmusire guests on breathy toned and turbulent trumpet.

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