BBC Radio 3’s Record Review features ‘Modern Jacobite’ by Tommy Smith/BBC SSO

Andrew McGregor at BBC Radio 3’s Record Review was kind enough to play the final section of ‘Jacobite’ on Saturday 17th September 2016.

He also comments on the music and the quality of the recording, and his observations are summarized below.

The show is available on the BBC iPlayer until 17.10.19, and links to the pop-up radio player and the Record Review home page can be found at the end of this quote from Andrew.


“ ‘Jacobite’ seems to have been Smith’s response to Scotland’s independence referendum in 2014, but placing it in the context of Scottish history in three movements inspired by the failed Jacobite uprising The last part refers to the Jacobite’s defeat at Culloden in 1745; tapping into Stravinsky and Duke Ellington in that final section from the sound of it.

I’ve always enjoyed Smith’s powerfully earthy sound, and hearing him in this context is interesting – containing his improvisatory fluency as he explores his musical ideas with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Clark Rundell.

(It’s) not a concerto for sax, Smith makes that clear…he’s the narrator, and other orchestral instruments get their time in the spotlight, but he’s a far from inexperienced orchestrator, and it shows. The recording opens with an arrangement of Rachmaninov’s ‘Vocalise’, and ends with a mixture of Chick Corea’s ‘Children’s Songs’ and Tommy Smith’s improvisations…and the recorded sound is as pungent as the playing.”

 – Andrew McGregor, Record Review, BBC Radio 3 (Player) (Page Link)