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The day Tommy Smith came to our studio to record part of a BBC doc I was in London having meetings with record companies. The guy I saw at EMI didn't know of Smith then and was a bit dismissive of my enthusiasm for the young Scot's playing. Courtney Pine was his favoured man of the minute.

That same A&R man appears in the documentary, shot a few weeks later. He is smoking behind his big desk, bullshit to the max, about to sign Tommy to Blue Note. I'm not suggesting my endorsement had any bearing on EMI taking an interest. Then again, maybe I am.

The sound quality on this clip is pretty poor, taken from an old mono VHS as it was, yet our old rickety Schiedmayer piano still sounds half decent, no doubt mainly down to the fine pianist. The piece the band played in the studio that day was Harlequin which appeared on the Peeping Tom album released on Blue Note in 1990. Tommy Smith was for me one of the finest musicians Scotland ever produced.

Tommy Smith

performed: Forward Motion

filmed: BBC @ Sirocco (1987)

Archive Recordings