I Surrender All
A proficient saxophonist with a knack for writing catchy tunes (such as his “Burgoyne Dr”), Melvin Smith reveals deep gospel roots in his modernist takes on the traditional hymns “I Surrender All” and “Amazing Grace” and his buoyantly swinging “The Joy of the Lord.” He also delivers faithful renditions of Bobby Watson’s “In Case You Missed It” and Cedar Walton’s “Firm Roots,” and turns in an affecting duet with pianist Hubert Eaves III on Horace Silver’s haunting ballad “Peace.”- Bill Milkowski Jazz Times Magazine
Unveiling his third release as a leader, soulful New York saxophonist Melvin Smith borrows from the great Thelonious Monk for the title piece as well as taking a page from George Gershwin, Pat Metheny and McCoy Tyner among others in crafting a ten-piece program of post bop music. Beginning the album with a 1960s post bop rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing," Smith engages in a musical conversation with his tenor saxophone covering a lot of ground and different styles throughout this disc. Melvin Smith is clearly one of the finest reed men in the jazz business today and this latest effort adds to an already sturdy foundation that the saxophone is in very good hands with Smith. One listen to Evidence provides all the proof you need to affirm that assertion. -Edward Blanco "E Jazz News"
Time Will Tell
Time Will Tell is a hard swinging effort by the saxophonist. The title track is a groove laced Art Blakey and Jazz Messenger staple written by Bobby Watson. Melvin breathes life into Joe Zawinul's Hippodelphia which was originally performed by Cannonball Adderley's quintet. Smith doesn't stop with solid arrangements, he also brings some great originals to the effort. Mom and Pop, Manasseh, 1750 Washington St, and Trylenera Part IV show Smith's creativity as a composer. Melvin Smith creates an organic exchange with pianist Anthony Wonsey on the two duo tracks Polka Dots and Moonbeams and Cedar Walton's Holy Land. Smith has included interesting reads on the hymn, I Want Jesus To Walk With Me and Musiq Soulchild's Dontchange. This effort is concludes with a stirring version of Bobby Watson's Faith In Action. All in all Time Will Tell is one not to miss.