Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith is a leading light in European jazz, first and foremost as one of the finest saxophonists of his generation, and latterly as the founder and current director of The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO). These career-defining achievements are framed by his status as an international recording artist; a composer and arranger of extraordinary ambition; and not least, as a jazz educator.

Read more
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE ★★★★★ “His tone is tungsten-tough or tender and nostalgic, his improvisations stimulating and affecting.”

“He makes ancient and modern music sound strangely compatible and in his ecstatic renderings makes Coltrane’s ‘Naima’ and even Rodgers & Hart’s “My Romance’ sound like prayers. This is a unique album.”

SCOTSMAN ★★★★★ “His toughest and most creative quartet yet.” ”TOMMY Smith is not one to do things by half measures.”

IRISH TIMES ★★★★★ “Smith’s tenor is now the uniquely personal voice of a great player”

JAZZWISE “It is quite possibly his finest recording yet.”

OBSERVER Jazz CD of the week “An auspicious first release by Smith's own label”

GUARDIAN “A rare splicing of rich-toned, pipe-like themes, fiercely guttural up-tempo tenor improv, Arabic and Irish music.” Jazz CD of the week “A very elegant take on standard jazz materials”

MOJO “Scottish saxophonist/composer’s 24th album, one of his best.”

BIRMINGHAM POST “Since Stan Getz died, Smith must be one of the chief contenders for most beautiful saxophone sound in the world.”

INDEPENDENT “Smith comes across as a true star, inhabiting the sound of his saxophone in a way very few players anywhere in the world are capable of.”

PLAYBOY MAGAZINE “Smith’s artful writing makes the band sound like a petite philharmonic.”

DOWNBEAT “Smith’s some sax-man

Read more

Primary Instrument

Sax, tenor


Lanark, ML11

Willing to teach

Advanced only


Professor of Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

33 Photos View in Slideshow




Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Chris Potter Chris Potter
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
James Carter James Carter
sax, tenor
Charles Lloyd Charles Lloyd