October 2012 CD of the Month

Jan 23, 2014

Lee Smith  "Sittin' on a Secret"  Vectordisc

 The familiar adage, ‘the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree’ is an apt description when speaking about the outstanding bassist and bandleader Christian McBride. However, until recently even passionate followers of McBride would not know why that saying applies to him, enter, Lee Smith. For over 40 years Lee has been an outstanding bassist operating out of his hometown of Philadelphia and touring around the world. In the 1970s Smith was playing bass behind some of the “Sound of Philadelphia’s” best known artists; The Delfonics, Billy Paul, Major Harris and Blue Magic to name a few. In 1977 Lee caught the Latin jazz fever and became the touring and recording bassist for Mongo Santamaria for over 5 years. Over the past 30 years Mr. Smith has been playing the Atlantic City casino circuit as well as accompanying some of the greatest names of jazz when they performed in the Philadelphia area. His debut as a leader CD, Sittin’ On a Secret is long overdue, yet it’s been worth the wait as it contains 8 solid selections with an all-star cast of sidemen, all with a “City of Brotherly Love” connection. The record label, Vectordisc is based in suburban Philly and operated by the Philadelphian pianist, Richard Burton 

Sittin’ On A Secret features stand outs, pianist Anthony Wonsey, saxophonist Tim Warfield, trumpeters Terell Stafford and Duane Eubanks as well as others. Vocalist Denise King guests on 1 track. The 8 entries in this swingin’ session are all arranged by Lee Smith who also composed 6 of the songs. The heartfelt liner notes were written by Smith’s son Christian McBride who is one of the finest bassist, arranger and bandleader of his generation. This CD continues the storied Philadelphia sound of jazz, its music and its musicians, while listening to this CD don’t be surprised if it evokes the aromas of Philly cheese steaks and Tastykake. From trumpet to electric bass to acoustic bass, from versatile sideman to bandleader, the cat is out of the bag and the secret has been revealed!