Born: May 15, 1975 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
A short history of E.C.F.A. and Carl Smith:
E.C.F.A. stands for emanation, creation, formation, and action. I frequently came across references to these different levels of existence in my Judaic and Yoruba studies. I wasn't interested in naming my group, but having a name is essential for getting gigs and I felt that The Carl Smith Trio sounded too vain.
E.C.F.A., a trio of musicians organized by tenor saxophonist/composer Carl Smith, was first established in early 1997 in Austin, Texas as a vehicle for Smith's ideas in creative music making which stemmed from avant-garde jazz and American experimental music. The original lineup included Carter Thornton on guitar, Ray Jaceldo on drums and Smith on tenor saxophone. This group played lots of traditional free jazz but also played jazz standards and open scores.
After E.C.F.A. was first organized, Jaceldo was in a car accident that left him in a coma for two weeks. Having gigs planned, Smith had Chris Cogburn take over on the drums. Thornton moved to New York City in the summer of 2000 and Smith followed. A new E.C.F.A. group was formed with Thornton on guitar and Ryan Sawyer on drums.
Smith moved back to Austin after four months in New York and established another E.C.F.A. trio with Matt Armistead on drums and James Alexander on viola. In early 2002, Smith moved to Detroit and established yet another version of the trio with Kevin Calloway on drums and Joel Peterson on bass.
Smith again returned to Austin in December 2002. Currently, the trio is based in Austin with Alexander on viola and Jason Friedrich on drums. This group is currently featuring works by Yusef Lateef, Steve Lacy, Thelonious Monk, Steve McCall, as well as works Smith has written for the group.
I am an improviser. John Coltrane, Guiseppe Logan, Eric Dolphy, John Gilmore, Charles Gayle and many other improvisers and other jazz artists locally and through recordings have inspired me to be who I am. I am forever grateful to them for their work and it is my dream to contribute my own musical vision to the world and hopefully inspire others to do so. However, it is hard to do this without support from the community and from friends. I will continue to tell other people about this music and play this music as long as I can and hopefully find a place for my music in Austin.