WHEN Tommy Smith arrives at the Eastgate Theatre next Friday, the Peebles venue will be one top saxophonist richer.
And he’ll be joined by Karma – hailed by critics as the toughest and most creative group of his career.
The brilliant Scot leads the band of virtuoso musicians on a deeply grooving acid jazz adventure that draws on influences from around the world.
Featuring Smith (saxes, shakuhatchi, synth), Kevin Glasgow (electric bass), Steve Hamilton (piano, synth), Alyn Cosker (drums), the group promises a rewarding and ultimately uplifting hour’s music.
Smith is one of Scotland’s leading jazz musicians and composers, an internationally recognised solo saxophonist and bandleader since the late 1980s, and the musical director and driving force behind the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and his own Youth Jazz Orchestra.
His CV, since touring and recording the Whiz Kids (ECM Records) album with vibraphonist Gary Burton at the age of 18, includes a total of 23 albums under his own name for Hep Records, GFM, Blue Note Records, Linn Records and his own Spartacus label.
Smith has toured with world-renowned jazz musicians including Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Benny Golson, Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Tommy Flanagan, John Scofield, John Patittucci, Miroslav Vitous, Arild Andersen, Trilok Gurtu, Jack DeJohnette, Jon Christensen and Kenny Wheeler.
He has composed for, and performed with, classical orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of St John’s Square, the Scottish Ensemble, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and the Paragon Ensemble.
He has also recorded and performed with classical pianist Murray McLachlan, pop group Hue & Cry, and Scottish traditional musicians including Gaelic singer Karen Matheson and accordionist/keyboards player Donald Shaw from Capercaillie.
Smith’s work with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) includes programmes of Oliver Nelson, Basie, Ellington, Mingus, Benny Goodman, Gil Evans, Kenton, Monk and living composers Maria Schneider and Pat Metheny.
SNJO has also premiered Smith’s own compositions including Beauty and the Beast for David Liebman and Torah for Joe Lovano.
His many acclaimed achievements include his work for solo saxophone Alone At Last, utilising Edwin Morgan’s poetry, samples, harmonizer and loop machine, which he toured in surround-sound concerts across the world.
Tommy Smith and Karma appear at the Eastgate Theatre on March 15 at 7.30pm.
Tickets, £14, available from the theatre, call 01721 725777.