Paris Smith, Kenneth Hill
The Paris Smith-Kenneth Hill Quartets


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$45.00 SGD
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A TAV Curator’s Pick.

Top drawer moody laden basement bebop led by Chicago Vibist Paris Smith and Tenor saxophone player Kenneth Hill.

The Quartets album, Paris Smith and Kenneth Hill’s first album together with original material.

A truly remarkable underground jazz album that sounds like it was recorded 10 years earlier, top feeling and very much alive.

Paris Smith – vibes, Kenneth Hill – sax, Michael Smith & Donnell Lambert – Bass, Usama – Drums.

Comes with new pictures, new liner notes and remastered sound. – Afro7

From Afro7’s interview with Paris Smith:

“Q: Over three decades you released three albums, Quartets in the seventies, Thought Seeds in the 80s and Ghost in the 90s. All three albums have your unique individual style but in a way they are all very different. The first one being the bebop album, the second one has a modal, less chord changes approach and finally the Ghost with it’s rhythm and blues touch. Tell us a little how this came to be, was it popular in Chicago of what went down or was this your personal plan from the beginning that you wanted to vary each three releases?

A: Each album came out sounding the way it did because of the instrumentation I was working with at the time. I didn’t necessarily have making records in mind. Hard to say what was popular in Chicago during the periods when I was recording. Jazz was being played in several different styles. Bop, big band swing, third stream, fusion, funk, easy listening, free music, and probably some more. I didn’t consciously try to settle into any of these categories. I was just playing the vibes and writing tunes. Personally, I like all kinds of music, but I might not play in all those styles. And the other players on the records made a difference, too. The R&B touch on the Ghost album is due to the bass player’s input, and the pianist added some of that flavor, too. Bringing in the vocalist really took things into another dimension.

Q: Tell us a little about your special musical relationship with Kenneth Hill.

A: Ken and I worked well together. We met at a vibes player named Cooper’s house where we rehearsed all the time. That would’ve been in the early 1970s. Other players would come through and we’d all have a good time. Then Ken and I branched off and started doing our own thing. We lived within walking distance of each other. We compared notes on music method books, analysed tunes, and started building a repertoire. Ken was a no-nonsense kind of guy who liked to tackle tough material. We’d work out for hours on those finger-breaking Bird and Bebop tunes. Then we met Donnell Lambert, the bassist, a really advanced player, and we started rehearsing in his basement. We then brought in drummers, like Ben Montgomery, Usama, Richard Terrell.

Q: You said you prefer live recordings contra studio recording. As the vibe is much more alive and sound more like when you play it yourself?

Well, it’s not such a cut and dried situation. The vibes is a difficult instrument to mike up, especially on live sets. In the studio you can get a good sound. Mikes on top and sometimes underneath. On live sets, all that equipment might not be available, and often times you’re competing with instruments which have volume controls on them. Ampli-pickups can give you some added volume, but they might distort the sounds, especially if you turn the volume up high. So, I do prefer live recordings, but they aren’t always the best. In the studio you have more time and equipment available to make the vibes sound as realistic as possible.” - Afro7



Blue January



Mood For John



53rd Street Ghost



Etheric Changes



Bring Out The Skeleton



The Last One



Vitamin C



Little Anthony



Item description:


Paris Smith, Kenneth Hill


The Paris Smith - Kenneth Hill Quartets




Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition



Release Date:



Jazz, Blues

Catalog No: