At a time of a national tragedy such as the Boston Marathon bombing, this music host’s first inclination is to present a program of supportive music to soothe you. But – life and new music goes on! Thus, I proceeded with my plan to premiere From Here On Out by the excellent Detroit quintet co-led by saxophonist James Hughes and trumpeter Jimmy Smith.
The strong front horn line is backed up by a tight trio: pianist Phil Kelly, bassist Takashi Ilo and drummer Nate Winn. April 16th is the official release date for the disc which is sure to remain on the 89.1 Jazz playlist for quite a while. I make this prediction because the disc contains original compositions reflecting the unique and special sound of Detroit jazz. Joy, tenderness, hope, boldness and youthful curiosity are some of the emotions that run through the tunes composed by both Jimmy Smith and James Hughes. As we reflect on the heartrending events in Boston, we strive to find things to give our life meaning. The integrity and depth of our Ann Arbor-Detroit music scene is a reason to be thankful. Jimmy Smith and James Hughes have added to our appreciation of local music with From Here On Out and will do so for years to come.