DWAYNE SMITTY SMITH
SEPTEMBER 08, 2013
Spotlight On Dwayne 'Smitty' Smith
Despite being a hugely sought after session and touring musician, bass player Dwayne ‘Smitty’ Smith waited until 2005 to release his debut solo album. Titled ‘This Is Me’ it was an expression of his own musical personality and now he is back with his latest offering, the eclectically jazzy ‘Stories’. Not only is it a measure of how much his music has evolved but also provides a back-story that chronicles his life and career. The CD includes contributions from Kirk Whalum, Oli Silk, Oscar Seaton, Tim Gant and Darrell Crooks while much like ‘This Is Me’ (which contained signature tributes to Stevie Wonder) ‘Stories’ features an arrangement of ‘So What’ that Smith uses to honor the music of Miles Davis.
Personal favorites include the wonderfully relaxing ‘Fort Dupont Park’ (which takes Smith back to his Washington DC roots) and ‘That’s Mo Like It’ which opens up with Smitty’s trademark bass and evolves into a superb smooth jazz groove. He also finds time to cover The Stylistics ‘People Make The World Go Round’ and all things considered this is a recording that will appeal equally to lovers of smooth jazz, urban jazz and that of a more straight ahead disposition.
Dwayne ‘Smitty’ Smith was raised in the Washington and for the past twenty-five years has called Los Angeles his home. At the age of 13 Smitty started playing drums in his junior high school band and it was then he discovered his true love, the bass guitar. After high school he joined the Air Force where he played and functioned as bandleader for the Air Force band Tops In Blue. After the military he returned home to D.C. and spent a year performing with the Larry Seals Quarter, one of DC’s hottest jazz-fusion bands.
However, he knew that if music was going to be his life, he had to leave and go where the opportunities were. That meant LA and it wasn’t long before he was playing with the likes of George Howard, Gerald Albright, Jeff Lorber, Anita Baker, Teena Marie, Natalie Cole, Kirk Whalum, Rachelle Ferrell, Tom Jones and, for seven years, with the legendary Isley Brothers. He has appeared on numerous recordings with such artist as Will Downing, Ledisi, Paul Taylor, Maysa, Lalah Hathaway, Najee, Chante Moore and many others.
As a writer, he earned his first gold record when co-writing Boney James’ ‘Without A Doubt’ from Boney’s ‘Seduction’ CD.