Melvin Smith | Perseverance Review


Melvin Smith | Perseverance Review

by Griff Stevens

melvin-smith-cdIn Perseverance, jazz saxophonist and composer Melvin Smith skillfully bridges the divide between gospel-infused tunes and the unabashedly swinging jazz charts. It is an album where the two genres mingle seamlessly, creating a unique, harmonious blend within each track and showing Smith is fluent in both worlds.

An essential factor in bringing the spiritual undertones to life is Smith’s balance of strong rhythmic ideas with memorable melodic concepts. His performance is conveyed with a rich, robust tone and playstyle that can best be described as soulfully jazzy. In addition, his saxophone solos echo and roar like celestial declarations, making the record a blessed auditory experience. Listen to “Beatrice,” and you’ll be immersed in Smith’s soul-stirring saxophone of soulful jazz grandeur.

Smith knows when to spearhead the bop jazz-driven side of his playing. The track “Letter to the Ancestors” offers amelvin-smith-1 splendid display of the symbiotic relationship between the two sides of Smith’s playing, a delightful dance of creativity of gospel and mastery of bebop. His talent ascends ceaselessly, each note leading to the next to form a solid musical statement. Yet, Smith focuses on amplifying the song’s energy rather than his evident virtuosity.

melvin-smith-2Perseverance is an album where different musical strengths converge to create a harmonious blending of gospel and jazz. It’s an authentic testament to the power of collaboration and the beauty of harmonizing diverse musical genres with balanced and refined musicianship.




Release Date: July 14, 2023


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Griff Stevens
Griff Stevens

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