Live Zurich Switzerland




The music on this double-CD (19 tunes, 1hour 45 min.) has never been previously released; it was recorded live in Zurich, Switzerland in 1949. Although normally a solo performer, Willie "The Lion" Smith performs here in a trio setting. The repertoire includes original compositions, Fats Waller and Clarence Williams tunes, Gershwin, blues and traditional jazz classics, spirituals, and even Chopin’s "Polonaise". Smith employs a unique blend of ragtime, impressionism and counterpoint, while combining subtle, melodic lines with intense swing. Here is "live" proof that Willie "The Lion" Smith was one of the most original, humorous and unpredictable jazz pianists of the 20th Century, as well as possibly the best "stride" pianist ever. Smith and the trio are in an instant groove from the very first tune of this 105 minute-long concert, and they never stop swinging. Smith never uses clichés – even very well-known tunes sound fresh and new. This CD is a must for all Willie "The Lion" Smith fans; Smith, himself, says of the music: "This was a very good concert. We played for each other and together and were perfectly relaxed".