- Feb 28, 2009
Born: August 14, 1909 | Died: September 25, 1967
In the era of early jazz and swing, the violin was often an instrument that carried a hint of an old-fashioned sound--a suggestion of classical music, of the high-society dance orchestra, of the gypsy café music of Europe. But Stuff Smith, considered one of the most important jazz violinists of his time, made music that told a different story: Smith's violin was raucous, rhythmically daring, and bluesy, looking toward the future, not the past. Like most great jazz players, Smith pushed the envelope in his playing, and later in his career he adapted with little difficulty to the new musical language of bebop. Smith also sang and was the composer of several jazz standards.
Hezekiah Leroy Gordon Smith was born in Portsmouth, Ohio...