Hal Smith is a drummer deeply rooted in the traditional ragtime and early jazz styles. His performances are often a history lesson not just in sound but in the techniques of creative jazz musicians he admires such as Baby Dodds and Paul Barbarin. Hal’s musical hero is the pioneering pianist, songwriter and bandleader Jelly Roll Morton, whose innovative rags provided clever and sometimes intricate rhythms and tempo changes perfectly fitted to Hal’s interpretations. A recording artist since the 1970s, Hal can be heard on a number of albums including several on the Jazzology and Triangle Jazz labels. He is also a writer for the Syncopated Times out of Utica, New York for which he offers his thoughts about many of the great drummers at the dawn of jazz.
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