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Walter Smith III’s ‘Return to Casual’ featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play May 1-5


Walter Smith III is one of those creative spirits from Houston, Texas. The tenor saxophonist has played or recorded with fellow Houstonian Jason Moran, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire's quintet, Kendrick Scott, Aaron Parks and Warren Wolf. Smith also pays it forward as Chair of the Woodwind Department at Berklee. Return To Casual is his new Blue Note recording, showing his considerable playing skills and writing o this collection of mostly originals. The recording also features pianist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Matt Stevens, bassist Harish Raghavan, drummer Kendrick Scott, and special guests trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and James Francies on Fender Rhodes.

From Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 5, one cut from the Return to Casual album will be featured each morning on the New Day, New Play spotlight on my Daybreak show.

Preview “Contra” from Return to Casual, above.

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosts the morning show each weekday from 6:00am -12:00pm. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.