Arild Andersen / Paolo Vinaccia / Tommy Smith

In-House Science

Live-Mitschnitt vom 29. September 2016, PKS-Villa Rothstein, Bad Ischl.

Arild Andersen: double-bass; Paolo Vinaccia: drums; Tommy Smith: tenor saxophone


Norwegian master bassist Arild Andersen’s trio with big-toned Scottish tenorist Tommy Smith and Italian-born powerhouse drummer Paolo Vinaccia is one of the most viscerally exciting jazz small groups of the present moment. Some of its energies are arguably best captured in a live context, and here the three musicians deliver a characteristically smoking performance, recorded at the PKS Villa Rothstein in Bad Ischl, Austria, September 2016.

(As well as bracketing two song-titles together, album title In-House Science alludes to the venue where this fiery music was documented, the PKS Villa Rothstein, whose history has a connection to scientific inquiry, the “PKS” standing for Pythagoras Kepler System. The PKS Organization is devoted to furthering the study of natural energy as outlined by Viktor Schauberger and other unconventional researchers.)

Arild Andersen was born in Oslo in 1945. He has been an ECM artist for almost 50 years, first recording for the label in 1970 on Afric Pepperbird with Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. In the same period he worked with Scandinavian residents Don Cherry and George Russell, and backed a long line of visiting Americans – from Sonny Rollins to Chick Corea. After a New York sojourn in the early 1970s that found him working with Sam Rivers, Paul Bley, Steve Kuhn and Sheila Jordan, he returned to Norway and began leading his own bands. His first ECM leader dates were revisited in the box set Green In Blue: Early Quartets in 2010. Arild Andersen has issued more than 20 albums as a leader or co-leader for ECM, along the way making listeners aware of talents including Jon Balke, Tore Brunborg, Nils Petter Molvaer and Vassilis Tsabropoulos, all of whom first came to international attention as young musicians with Andersen bands. In 2008 he received the Jazz Musician of the Year award from France’s Académie du Jazz.

Paolo Vinaccia was born in Italy in 1954, and has been based in Norway since 1979. He has toured and recorded with musicians including Terje Rypdal, Jon Christensen, Bendik Hofseth, Ketil Bjørnstad, Palle Mikkelborg, David Darling, Dhafer Youssef, Mike Mainieri and many others. On ECM he appears on Terje Rypdal’s Crime Scene, Vossabrygg, and Skywards albums, as well as Arild Andersen’s Hyperborean, Electra and Live at Belleville. Releases under his own name include the live box set Very Much Alive (Jazzland, 2010) with Rypdal, Mikkelborg, Wesseltoft and Ståle Storløkken.

Saxophonist Tommy Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1967, made his mark on the Scottish jazz scene with his first album Giant Strides, recorded when he was sixteen, in 1983. That same year he won a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, he formed the group Forward Motion, and also joined Gary Burton’s band, with which he appeared on the ECM album Whiz Kids in 1986. He has since released more than twenty albums under his own name for numerous labels, including his own Spartacus imprint. Smith has worked in small groups and big bands, recording and touring with Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Benny Golson, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Tommy Flanagan, John Scofield, Miroslav Vitouš, Jack DeJohnette and many more. He has composed for and performed with classical orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of St. John's Square, the Scottish Ensemble, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and the Paragon Ensemble. Smith founded the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in 1995, and remains its director. The orchestra is heard on the ECM album Celebration, with Arild Andersen as principal soloist.