Smiling Jazz

Bruce Von Stiers

Reggie Pittman has played with Aretha Franklin and the Allman Brothers. He was the trumpeter soloist for the Duke Ellington Band at Carnegie Hall. Pianist / composer Loren Daniels has shared the stage with Milt Jackson and Rufus Reid. Together Reggie and Loren form the Reggie Pittman – Loren Daniels Quartet.

With their quartet, Reggie and Loren recorded an album that was well liked. Now they have a new album that they are sharing with the jazz world. This new album is titled Smilessence.

The album has eleven songs and the play time is seventy-four minutes. It was released on the Ivory Hornz label. Nine of the songs were written by Lauren and he provided arrangements on another. Reggie wrote one song for the album.

Joining the two bandleaders are Mike Richmond on bass and Jonathon Peretz on drums. Mike has been a bandleader himself along with performing with Stan Getz and Hubert Laws among others. Jonathon has played with Blood, Sweat & Tears and for Ricky Martin.

Knee High to a Bee (Bop!) is the first song. It is a cool song with a lot of trumpet and piano backed by tough bass and subtle drums.

Sco-Ho-Ho is a minor groove that has fun horn music that will make you tap your toes.

Consternation is a song that might remind you of some the greats that the quartet members have played with.

Slow and endearing is There Is No Greater Love.

There is a thing in golf that makes reference to an Alice. I don't know if that plays in to the song You Better Say Alice. But this is an interesting song that brings horn music out in front.

The title track, Smilessence did bring a smile to my face as I listened to it. It is a fun and entertaining piece.

Change is a bit slower and moodier than the other songs on the album with almost haunting horn music.

2 Hip 2B has a kind of reggae, Caribe groove to it.

Then there is Straight Up, which is a very busy song with a lot of drum and piano.

With a title like Shaky Leg (Pt. 2) you would probably expect a bit of a groove tune. You'd be right. It is a light and moderately paced groove tune with some cool keys and horn.

The final song on the album is And It Goes…On. The song is slow and endearing with subtle bass, horns drums.

Smilessence is an appealing album. It has terrific horn music that is well complemented by the bass, piano and drums. Reggie Pittman and Loren Daniels have done a pretty decent job with their second offering.

Check out the quartet's web site to learn more about them and the album. That web site can be found at

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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers