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Enoch Smith Jr.

Jazz and gospel music are branches of the same glorious African-American cultural tree and have influenced each other throughout their long histories. Gospel has been a source of inspiration to many jazz musicians, and its influence has been especially pronounced in the sacred works of Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams. Conversely, it was a former jazz and blues pianist, Thomas A. Dorsey, who as the composer of such songs “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” “It’s a Highway to Heaven,” and “Peace in the Valley” was the principal architect of what is today known as gospel music. “It’s my belief that jazz would not exist in the form it does today if not for black gospel music and its contributors,” pianist and composer Enoch Smith Jr. wrote in a column titled “Bringing the Gospel to Jazz: A Misfit’s Theme” that appeared in the September 2016 issue of Down Beat magazine. The Rochester, New York-born, Allentown, New Jersey-based musician—with his acclaimed series of gospel-immersed jazz albums—2010’s Church Boy, 2011’s Misfits, 2015’s Misfits II: Pop, The Quest: Live at APC, and now To Houston With Love all on his own Misfitme label—is at the forefront of bringing the tree’s already related branches even closer together. “A humble piano player in his community church quietly released the salvation of jazz, and its future,” Carol Banks Weber wrote in her glowing review of Misfits II: Pop for

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Album Review
Take Five With...
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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced



To Houston With Love

Misfitme Music


The Quest: Live At APC

Misfitme Music


Misfits II: Pop

Misfitme Music



Misfitme Music


Church boy

Self Produced



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