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Harrison Smith

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Biography of Harrison Smith

Harrison Smith had saxophone lessons from the age of 13, and clarinet lessons from the age of 14. His first playing experience was with Herrington Colliery Band and later with various dance bands and rock/soul groups in the North East of England. Smith became interested in jazz and started to play with local groups lead by Alex Hand and Alan Glen. In 1973 he attended a jazz course at Barry Summer School (Wales) and some months later he was asked by one of the tutors, Barry Guy, to do a national tour with the “London Jazz Composers Orchestra”. The same year he moved to London.
In London he joined John Walters` `Landscape` and also gained valuable musical experience by playing with likes of Mike Osborne, Harry Beckett, Louis Moholo, Harry Miller, Evan Parker, Elton Dean etc. Over the next few years he worked with various groups lead by Dave Defries, Jim Dvorak’s `Sun Sum` and `Dhyana` (album to be released in the near future), Rodger Dean’s `Lysis` with Kenny Wheeler, the `Michael Garrick Sextet`, Keith Bailey’s `Prana` with Chris McGregor and Kent Carter, a duo with Keith Bailey and `Jazz Africa`.
In 1983 he joined the very popular South African inspired group `District Six`, recording four albums, playing festivals and touring in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic etc, as well as Britain. Harrison played with District Six for some 8 years.
In 1988 the `Free Jazz Quartet` was formed with Eddie Prevost, Paul Rutherford and Tony Moore, recording the much acclaimed “Premonitions” album and toured in both Spain and the U.K.
In the nineties Smith worked in a varied mix of projects including Danny Thompson/ Richard Thompson’s `What Ever Next` , Joe Gallivan Trio, Louis Moholo Group, a duo with Eddie Prevost, co-led `Ala-Ka-Zam` with Jim Dvorak, `Continuum` a classical orientated ensemble and performed solo.
Harrison put his own group together in 1998… the `Harrison Smith Quartet` with Liam Noble, piano, Jeremy Brown, bass and Winston Clifford on drums.
They recorded their first album the same year `Outside Inside` for the Slam label which received critical acclaim internationally. Since then he has worked with `London Improvisers Orchestra`, the `Dill Katz Quartet` and has performed across a wide spectrum of the music, from jazz standards to the cutting edge and more experimental.

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