PAUL SMOKER (b. 1941) - trumpet, composer, educator.
"What Paul Smoker produced on his horn was unheard of in these latitudes; his complete command of his instrument allowed him to play whatever extravaganza he would think of, harmonically as well as in terms of dynamics. Styles, modes and techniques of every era of the history of music -- Baroque and Bebop, Structuralism and Storyville, Blues and Berio… To the widely discussed question about the future development of the jazz trumpet, Paul Smoker's musical concept could definitely constitute a far-reaching answer." — Jazz Podium
As a trumpeter his influences include avant-garde classical sources as well as the jazz trumpet tradition, and also the saxophonists John Coltrane and Anthony Braxton. Since the mid-80’s he has made over fifty recordings as a leader of his own groups and with Anthony Braxton, Joint Venture, Vinny Golia, Lou Grassi, Herb Robertson, Jay Rosen, Adam Lane, Burton Greene, Dom Minasi, et al. He has also worked with David Liebman, Evan Parker, Don Byron, John Tchicai, Art Pepper, Frank Rosolino, Barry Altschul, Gerry Hemingway, Ellery Eskelin, Borah Bergman, Mark Dresser, and on and on…
The Paul Smoker Notet debuted in 2003 at Tonic in New York City, and includes Smoker, guitarist Steve Salerno, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Phil Haynes. Notet recordings include Live At the Bop Shop, Cool Lives, and the new Landings.
Smoker was first elected to the annual Downbeat Critics' Poll in 1986, and has been the subject of features and reviews in Downbeat, Jazziz, Coda, Cadence, and many other sources, including discographies, encyclopedias, and texts.
Landings is a continuation of compositional/improvisational procedures (group transformations) starting with the Paul Smoker Trio in the 1980's. Smoker also reveres the standards, and continues to present them in a new light—on this album with Tenderly.