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Chuck Nessa

Paul Smoker - RIP

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Numerous postings on Facebook report the death of Paul Smoker - trumpeter and school chum from Iowa City, 1962.

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Well hell. There was a person of true interest.

RIP, exemplary. 

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Sad news. Only saw him once, with the Four Beings group (Tchicai, Alschul, Lane) and it was quite a performance. He did indeed "smoke."

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2 hours ago, clifford_thornton said:

Sad news. Only saw him once, with the Four Beings group (Tchicai, Alschul, Lane) and it was quite a performance. He did indeed "smoke."

Saw the same group - too bad Smoker joins Tchicai in leaving this world. Fine player - I think the show was at The Knitting Factory downstairs maybe 15 years ago. 

As a less experienced listener I remember the younger Lane played too many notes while the wonderful reedman and trumpeter played the right amount of notes.

RIP, sir

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RIP I used to hear his stuff a lot on the Northstar Sounds show on Rochester's WGMC Jazz 90.1

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RIP I used to hear his stuff a lot on the Northstar Sounds show on Rochester's WGMC Jazz 90.1

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6 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Numerous postings on Facebook report the death of Paul Smoker - trumpeter and school chum from Iowa City, 1962.

Smoker was great; not precisely (by any means) the white Lester Bowie but a similar range (St. Louis <----> Davenport) though Paul looking pop  more likely to be 1920s than '80s / '90s. What's fellow Iowan Phil Haynes going to do now? All the Smoker Trio sides, Smoker / Golia (there might be live Smoker / Golia / Nels Cline / Mintz / Filiano tapes around) etc +++.

Chuck, did you know Paul had serious heart troubles years ago and overcame them?

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/cardiology/patient-care/patient-stories/paul.aspx

Hard to tell when he was 'off the scene' because I just figured he was teaching and NYC 'establishments' too ignorant &/or poor to bring him East.

 

 

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Sorry to read this. Heard him for the first time on an LP with Anthony Braxton.

Thanks for your music, Mr. Smoker.

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Sad news. Powerful and inventive player.

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RIP.

"...Paul had serious heart troubles years ago and overcame them?

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/cardiology/patient-care/patient-stories/paul.aspx ..."

Interesting. My brother is a cardiologist at URMC. He once mentioned that one of his patients was "an avant-garde jazz trumpeter". I didn't ask the name (for ethical reasons), but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Paul Smoker.

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Paul Smoker was one of those musicians whom I had meant to check out.  I was at a Dave Liebman concert in Rochester at the Lovin' Cup and Smoker was in attendance (I believe that Liebman gave him a shout-out).  I'll be checking out his Genuine Fables trio album and look forward to hearing his music.  Rest in peace, Mr. Smoker.  

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Good call. Genuine Fables now available as d/l, stream.

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Paul+Smoker+Notet.jpg

I regret only on his death  investigating Paul Smoker , this album just arrived and it's a real gem.

Edited by Clunky

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Sad news. Smoker was a very interesting player. I like his story about how he wound up playing with Braxton, which is in Mixtery, edited by Graham Lock. He saw Braxton in concert in Portland and met him backstage. The next day it turns out they were on the same plane together and they hit it off. Braxton asked Smoker to send him a tape. After much procrastinating, a tape was sent and soon after, Smoker was asked to join Braxton to do a couple of dates playing Composition 98. Braxton told him to get his music released: "You're committing a crime if you don't get it out!"

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He was a good man and definitely a colorful trumpet player. He sounds great on his CDs with Damon Short and as a member of Damon's band. 

 

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Kind of funny to me. In Iowa City circa 1962 I found the jazz crowd and they seemed to be divided into 2 groups - the "stiff" Gillespie/Hubbard group (as it seemed at the time) and the Miles/Gil & beyond group. They seemed to avoid one another. Paul was in the Gillespie/Hubbard aggregation. I was stunned to find him with Braxton many years later.

We became Facebook friends a couple of years ago and we exchanged some old memories.

Iowa City musical memories (1962-1966) include Paul, Rusty Jones, Kent Cohea, John Wilmeth, JR Montrose, Tom Radtke,  Al Jarreau, Dale Oehler, Dave Sanborn and Simon Estes. 

Ellery Eskelin has a wonderful post here: http://elleryeskelin.blogspot.com/2016/06/paul-smoker.html

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Paul Smoker performed at one of the first jazz concerts I saw.  Probably around 1993?  It was a trio with Phil Haynes and Michael Bisio; possibly with Marilyn Crispell too.  I recall enjoying it...

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