On this essential new collection of forward-looking jazz reinterpretations, Kansas Smitty’s bandleader Giacomo Smith delves deep into the catalogues of celebrated yet often overlooked artists that inspire his work with Kansas Smitty’s; Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbeck, even Maurice Ravel. Created for the ‘Plunderphonia’ series for 7K!, itself a reinterpretation of the acclaimed !K7 DJ-Kicks series, the album owes as much to Giacomo’s decade of living and playing in London as it does to the forefathers of jazz that he is paying homage to here. The release will be marked with a show for the London Jazz Festival at Earth in Hackney on 20th November.
Themes and melodies from compositions dating back to the 1920s have been adapted, inverted, transformed, and plunderized to make a collection of tunes that are undoubtedly jazz and when heard with contemporary ears, sonically of our times. This is not a straight up covers LP. Giacomo, who is joined by a fresh group musicians that connects all corners of the London contemporary jazz landscape, from Dylan Jones of Ezra Collective to rising star Jaz Kayser, sees his compositions here more aligned to hip hop mindset, starting with “samples” and turning them into something completely new.
“I didn’t choose the part of the song that sounds the coolest, I chose the parts of the song that were a reflection of where I believe the soul of the song was.” explains Giacomo. “The parts that I tried to adapt and sample for this new band were the parts that they would sound the best on. The far reaching vision of this record is to try to be as bold as Jelly Roll was in his composing and to rise to the occasion”.