BEHIND THE MUSIC -
Spanish Mist is a wonderful instrumental collection of Jazz music written, arranged, and performed by Robbie Smith. The music flows from one song to the next each with a Latin flare that decidedly begins to permeate as the theme for this CD. Inspired by the memory of his father and newfound love, Robbie has written two beautiful songs titled "Recuerdo A Mi Padre" and "Teri Mi Amor."
In a recent interview, Robbie recalled one of his first professional experiences playing with a band he joined in the early years which had a strong Latin influence. Playing with this band allowed him to expand his taste for Latin music. In later years, he immersed himself in a variety of musical styles, ranging from Latin to Disco to Big Band to jazz, and everything in between.
When asked how he created the structure for his songs, Robbie explained: "Each song has its own way of being written. It varies from anything like a melody in my head to an emotion, thought, or fragment of something else."
Robbie comments on how the new equipment he has allows him to get extremely creative and quite inventive using a variety of his talents for accompaniment. This includes playing guitar, keyboard, bass drums, and a plethora of other instruments, all the while staying true to the trumpet. "Initially, I wasn't really into the new technology. It's pretty amazing stuff," said Robbie.
Robbie shared that when he sat down to write the song about his father, it wasn't really planned. Choosing the major 7 chord which he doesn't use very often resulted in a very beautiful, very soothing, heartfelt song. It wasn't until after he wrote the melody that he started thinking about his father. "I was nearly finished when it occurred to me to dedicate it to someone close to me," said Robbie. "It has nothing to do with the type of music he liked. I just thought it was a nice way to acknowledge my father and make peace with him in the heartwarming sounds I created. Also, I didn't start out writing the song "Teri Mi Amor" with my girlfriend in mind. It just sort of developed into that," Robbie explained. "This song has more powerful, dominant 7 chords which imply change and lead to elevating feelings." As he got to the end he realized it might be a good song to name for his girlfriend, because it has a nice sound and great interaction with the guitar. Overall, this song is full of love and passion, and again the melody for this song just sort of fell into place.
In the song "More Cowbell, Please!" Robbie demonstrates his talents, including holding a high C note for an entire chorus. In a rather modest manner, Robbie explained how he wrote the melody first and then the song. In most of the other songs he wrote the song first and then the melody, surprisingly enough.
The inspiration for the song "Bullfighter's Fanfare" came from one of his many trumpet influences, the very famous Raphael Mendez. Robbie fondly recalls a particular album he has with Mendez playing a duet with a classical guitar. In "Bullfighter's Serenade" taking that same melody, Robbie further develops it into a song which has more modern Latin-based influences.
When asked how technology played a part in his latest musical endeavor, Robbie stated, "This is something that has only come around for me in the last couple of years. The music isn't coming from the computer--it's still coming from me! The computer is simply a vehicle for recording and provides a lot more creative freedom as a sideman musician. It's been a lot of years of studying and playing with some of the best in the business to get to this point."
As a musician who's been in and around the business since he was a small boy, it is very clear that he is not just a trumpet player. Robbie Smith is also a composer, arranger, and producer of music.
By Teri Conrad, Entertainment Reviewer
*Thank you for writing such a beautiful song for me!
1 Spanish Mist 3:46
2 More Cowbell, Please! 4:48
3 Tijuana Gass 3:37
4 Teri Mi Amor 3:34
5 Bullfighter's Fanfare 1:00
6 Bullfighter's Serenade 3:29
7 Recuerdo A Mi Padre 4:37
8 Night Wave 3:29
9 Blue Autumn 3:59
10 Gracias 3:36
Thank you for supporting Indie music!
Produced by Robbie Smith
Recorded and Mastered at Robbie Trumpet Studios, Long Beach, CA.
Photography by Teri Conrad
Artwork by Robbie Smith & Teri Conrad
(c) Copyright 2014 - Robbie Smith
All Rights Reserved.