Quantum (Edgetone EDT4136) is the latest work by drummer and electronic percussionist E. Doctor Smith (Brian Eno, Madonna, Edo Castro) and his sixth album on the Edgetone Records label. Quantum reunites Smith with his former Drummstick band mate, guitarist Jack Wright (Quantum Kids, Temporal Chaos Project) and features Quantum Kids' bassist, Tom Shiben, and Smith's Feat of Clay co-founder, trumpeter Eric Dahlman. In this collaboration, Smith’s unique fusion approach to the new Zendrum EXP MIDI percussion controller (the first commercially sold EXP, designed by David Haney of the Zendrum Corporation), splash blends with Wright's inspired guitar work and looping mastery to create music swirling between the subtle, the beautiful, the incendiary.
Inspired by Wright's progressive rock compositions and musicianship, Smith’s Washington, D.C.- based Drummstick band performed Wright’s anthemic Reflections and syncopated Progress, bringing the guitarist’s work to the area’s larger venues for the first time. During a performance at a club in Northern Virginia in the fall of 2000, Smith was playing the Drummstick, (his original MIDI percussion controller), alongside Wright when the guitarist’s creative use of loops, especially in his beautifully crafted song PsychoBilly, prompted the legendary guitarist Bill Kirchen, who happened to be in attendance, to ask Smith, "What is that thing you are playing, Doc, who is that guitarist, and why have I never heard of him before?" Since then, Wright’s many memorable live performances and online presence have provided increasing recognition of his work and access to it for loyal fans.
Smith recorded two albums with Wright: The Drummstick in 2000 (Edgetone EDT4046) and The Drummstick 2 in 2007 (Edgetone EDT4053) after relocating to San Francisco with bassist Celia DuBose. Smith and Wright performing several times in San Francisco and agreed to work together again when the time was right.
Happily, in 2008 Smith reunited with Wright and fellow band mate, MIDI saxophonist and flautist Neil Mezebish at the Barn, Mezebish's recording studio in Taylorsville, Maryland and Smith recorded several of Wright's best-known compositions from the Quantum Kids repertoire, including Angular Momentum, Progress, PsychoBilly, and Son of Frunkenstein." Those sessions were the foundation for this album, which was completed with several pieces from Smith’s Feat of Clay repertoire, including Kodo and Blue Moon, recorded with trumpeter Eric Dahlman and Mike Hall on guitar synthesizer.
The result is Quantum, a mix of progressive rock and jazz with ambient and otherworldly sounds, a potent musical cocktail — definitely shaken, not stirred!
E. Doctor Smith - Zendrum EXP Jack Wright - PRS guitars, iGuitars, loops Tracks (4, 5, and 8) Tom Shiben - String Rickenbacher basses Eric Dahlman - Trumpet and loops Mike Hall - Roland Guitar synthesizer
Spawned by the extraordinary Northern California bassist Michael Manring, the "Bass Solo Night" concert series has quickly become a stomping ground for some of the San Francisco Bay area's best musicians. It's a movable feast of talented bassists and features a rotating pool of extremely creative and innovative players.
E. Doctor Smith, (the inventor of the MIDI percussion instrument, the Drummstick), had been asked to perform at one of those shows alongside the bassist and fellow Flecktone fan, Ariane Cap. Ironically, it was during this show at Oakland's Rooz Cafe that led to his first encounter with the bassist Edo Castro. Like Manring before him, Castro was another master of the "E-Bow". His 7 string bass playing was simply gorgeous and his ability to build loops and solo live was equally astounding. Needless to say, Smith was surprised when Castro graciously asked him join him for a "gratuitous funk" tune. The result was a truly magical experience and a unique new musical friendship was born.
The pairing of Smith/Castro has often been compared to acid-jazz "jam band" of the Benevento/Russo Duo and the intensely powerful, yet poignant music of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. This live album features the music of Smith's earlier Drummstick 2, K2, Robert Anbian and the Unidentified Flying Quartet CDs, and culled from performances recorded at the Sheba Lounge in San Francisco and Mill Valley's 142 Throckmorton Theatre.
E.Doctor Smith - Zendrum ZX, PowerBook G4, iDrum, iControl, Alesis D4 & DMPro, Midi Jet Pro Edo Castro - 7 String "Stinger" Bee and Conklin Basses,Roland GR 20 Guitar Synth, Line 6 M13 Stomp Box
"While steeped in jazz, San Francisco seven-string bass master Edo Castro is a versatile player whose lyrical lines have graced a vast array of settings. He joins forces with electronic percussion explorer E. Doctor Smith and special guests for an evening of ambient soundscapes inspired by Brian Eno (shaped partly by Eno's generative software). Smith recorded with Eno in the early 1980s, one of many illustrious artists he's collaborated with, including Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart and Jimmy Cliff..."
Nice to come across this little piece by Andrew Gilbert in the SF Chronicle's "Essentials" section promoting my recent Royce Gallery show with Edo Castro... Edo played beautifully as he so often does... Here we come up with an improvisational segue into "Blue Moon", a song from my old Feat of Clay days that found its way onto our live CD on Edgetone.
“K2” is the culmination of a nearly thirty year musical collaboration between two friends that began with their early days in the NYC prog rock group “Everest”. Since that time, E. Doctor Smith and Seth Elgart have continued to collaborate on a variety of projects, ranging from the Source Theater production of “The Mound Builders”, to Steve Ellison’s “Flash to Bangtime” and Smith’s acid jazz group, “The Drummstick”. Influenced by the works of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Kit Watkins, Larry Fast and others, “K2” represents the fullfilment of their long time dream of paying tribute to those like-minded musical mentors and utilizing a variety of today’s 21st century MIDI technology.
"The Doctor is IN, and he's way cool..." Kit Watkins
E. Doctor Smith, Zendrum ZX, Samples Seth Elgart, Synthesizers, Samples Neil Mezebish, Flute, Saxophones, MIDI Wind Controllers Edo Castro, 7 String “Stinger” Bee and Conklin Neng Canzon, Bass on Son of Mobado
E. Doctor Smith’s original invention, the Drummstick, has a vertical design that enhances his ability to digitally tap, slap, flam, and roll. This CD showcases the versatility of his instrument and presents truly inspired left-the-box-way-behind music that smacks you up one side of your head while caressing you down the other.
For the Drummstick’s 10th anniversary, Doc reassembled many of the musicians from the Drummstick’s debut release in 2000, as well as some great new ones. Rejoining Doc for Drummstick 2 are bassist and co-producer Celia DuBose; Jack Wright with his array of electric guitars and loops; Neil Mezebish on acoustic and MIDI saxes; trumpeter and Feat of Clay co-founder the “Mad Swede,” aka Eric Dahlman; and his long-time collaborator and K2 co-founder Seth “Elgie” Elgart on assorted iBooks, vintage synthesizers, keyboards and samples.
Also joining Doc is bassist Mike Shea, who recorded with Doc’s latest ensemble, Robert Anbian and UFQ: The Unidentified Flying Quartet, featuring poet Robert Anbian, saxophonist Charles Unger, and pianist Sam Peoples.
“I call the post-fusion, world beat jazz these guys play ‘acid-bop’...” -Robert Anbian, Poet
E. Doctor Smith - The Drummstick, Samples Celia DuBose - Electric Bass Jack Wright - Electric Guitars, Loops Neil Mezebish - Flute, Alto, Tenor, Soprano and MIDI Saxophones Seth Elgart - Synthesizers, Samples Eric Dahlman -Trumpet Charles Unger - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones Sam Peoples -Acoustic and Electric Piano, Samples Mike Shea - Acoustic and Electric Bass
From the San Francisco poetry underground comes the voice of Robert Anbian, backed by electronic percussionist E. “Doc” Smith and Bay Area sax legend Charles Unger, plus keyboardist Sam Peoples and bassist Mike Shea. UFQ makes its own magic inspired by the music of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and Bobby Hutcherson, with infusions of Brian Eno, the Grateful Dead, and something else. Notes Anbian: “I call the post-fusion, world beat jazz these guys play ‘acid-bop’ – it’s got more possibilities for poetry than the typical verse-chorus cadences of popular music.”
Known for his lyrical-epic “WE” series, and such topical effronteries as “Haikus for the White House,” Anbian has been described by fellow poet Richard Hack as “a passionate virtuoso steeped in these times and deep with tradition” [whose] “poetry crackles with currency – hiply linguistic turns of natural originality, rhythmically brimming with a tempestuous taste of ecstasy, reason, and love.” Dusty Dog Reviews declared him “a genius or a Venusian.” Robert Anbian - voice, poetry E. Doctor Smith - The Drummstick, samples Charles Unger - tenor & soprano saxophones Sam Peoples -acoustic & electric piano, samples Mike Shea - acoustic & electric bass
Having played for 20 years in jazz, fusion, pop, and folk bands as a serious student of drums, E. Doctor Smith developed a love of digital drumming that compelled him to design and build an instrument that would give him maximum flexibility as a writer, drummer, and performer. The Drummstick, a percussion controller with 16 finger-pads mounted on a 2 x 6 piece of wood, is worn like a guitar and used exclusively to achieve Doc’s primary goal in life— to make spirits dance.
“From the banjo-meets-Bruford tribal groove of 'Futureboy' to the atmospheric sonic landscapes of “Girl of a Thousand Days,” E. Doctor Smith treads a musical road less traveled. His intrepid ensemble’s acid jazz explorations wander into every world musical nook and cranny, making this collection a trip well worth taking.”
-Stephen Bray, Producer
E. Doctor Smith, The Drummstick Celia DuBose, Bass and Vocals Jack Wright, Guitars Neil Mezebish, MIDI Sax and Flute Eric Dahlman, Trumpet/Jamman Carlos Augustus, Guitar Synthesizer Siobhan Canty, Vocals/Jamman Seth Elgart, Synthesizers Chris Gulino, Banjo on “Futureboy”
All of these titles are available via Edgetone Recodrds, iTunes and Amazon.com