"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-Madonna
"While acid jazz is normally more mood than passion, the taste of bop and afro-funk that is offered whets the ear for more more more.” - Mike Wood, Music Emmissions
"Particularly noteworthy was a "drum" solo by the Doctor that received extended applause... Smith's solo showed the versatility and range of his percussion instrument - a large block of wood wired to several key pads that allow him to reproduce almost any percussion sound. His performance of bell and cymbal sounds filled the room with a resounding sound reminiscent of a handbell choir." - Jerry Harris, Writer -Lexington Gazette
" Man...It's digital and it's organic...It flows from you man..." - "Diamond" Dave Whitaker, KPOO FM-Diamond Dave Show
" Marvelous creation, wonderful instrument." - Helen Light, WXPN FM-Light Lunch
"Pay close attention when you see this thing, it's really something special." - Cyndy Drue, WMMR FM-Morning Rock
"This, theoretically, could sound like crap. In actuality it's really pretty cool, plus he's good at it.... The rim shots and bass drum sounds great." - Andre Calihanna, Writer-MAPPS Magazine
"E. Doctor Smith and his MIDI-fied instrument... Howard Levy, Sandip Burman, Paul Bollenback, John Wubbenhorst... There's going to be some serious playing..." - Eric Brace, Writer-Washington Post
"The 3-minute interview with E. Doctor Smith"
By Kate Williamson in the SF Examiner Summer 2007
SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco musician and a director of biodiesel nonprofit Green Depot, Smith is the inventor of the Drummstick, his not-for-sale signature percussion device. This year, he released Drummstick 2 on Edgetone Records, and played on a second newly released album called “Robert Anbian and UFQ: the Unidentified Flying Quartet.” Meanwhile, Green Depot is trying to bring a biodiesel station to the Bayview.
What is a Drummstick?
The Drummstick is an instrument I invented in 1995. It’s a two-by-six piece of wood that has 16 triggers on it. It works just like an electronic drum kit, like the things Mickey Hart drums on, except instead of using drumsticks, I use my fingers.
Why did you invent it?
I had a friend who was with a folk duo … They had opened for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones once. The Flecktones liked them, and they couldn’t believe that Future Man [the Flecktones’ percussionist] did all these things from a drum guitar with triggers all over it. They said, “Have you ever thought about making a drum guitar?” I tried to think about what it would be like. It took on a life of its own.
How did you get involved with biodiesel?
My wife went to an Earth Day sort of thing in Potrero. We had thought about buying a Prius … but I hated the rear window and I hated that I was still buying gas. We started doing some research [on biodiesel] and we found out about it, and we started looking for them, (diesel vehicles), and we found out they were really hard to find. But we found one in Oakland, (a VW Beetle)… and we got it. For the last couple years, I’ve been running biodiesel and driving it. It’s been wonderful.
“E. Doctor Smith: Live with Edo Castro”
By Butch Jones, April 26th 2009 in Sea of Tranquility
E. Doctor Smith, the inventor of the MIDI percussion instrument called the Drummstick, has released an 8 track Jazz Fusion/Acid Jazz CD called Live with Edo Castro. This performance was captured live at The Sheba Lounge in San Francisco, CA., and features master 7 string bassist Edo Castro. It is truly amazing the sounds and rhythms that these two wonderful musicians are able to come up with in this age of technology. Just as someone like Keith Emerson was able to do with the technology at his disposal in the '70's, E. Doctor Smith is now able to do with technological advances like the Mac Powerbook and some amazing ingenuity.
Live with Edo Castro is a look at two musicians gratuitously combining together to form some gorgeous loops of funky rhythms that allow both musicians to flow in and out of music to create a mass of creative and innovative soloing performances. To truly understand the height of what is being done on the Drummstick would really have to be seen to be truly appreciated. You completely forget that you are NOT listening to an actual drummer, but to a man playing an actual percussive stick, much in the vein of the amazing Chapman Stick that bass players have had now for 30 or so years (kudos to Tony Levin) and to the also equally interesting, Zendrum's. Somewhere Bill Bruford is smiling. These MIDI instruments are such advancement in music technology and to be honest until this review I had never heard of either. But the tones and acoustic sounds that are able to be coaxed out of these instruments is really astounding.
E. Doctor Smith Live with Edo Castro is really 8 songs of nice Jazz improv that reminds the listener of Trance or even some types of House/Club music. It is highly hypnotic and at times could lure you into a state unconsciousness with their soothing smooth Jazz stylings. Funky and innovative, E. Doctor Smith with his Drummstick and counterpart 7 stringed Bass machine, Edo Castro, have turned out a nice easy listening CD here.
1. Neil, Jack & Me
2. Cultural Affairs
3. Torro's Gamble Part 3
4. Haikus for the White House
5. Astral Aura
6. Blue Moon
7. Wish We Were Here
8. All In