Update 2/17/2014: Paul now has a fine new site (with an updated discography!) at: http://paulsmoker.com

PAUL SMOKER (b. 1941) - trumpet, composer

photo: Jimmie Jones

"What Paul Smoker produced on his horn was unheard of in these latitudes; his complete command of his instrument allowed him to play whatever extravaganza he would think of, harmonically as well as in terms of dynamics. Styles, modes and techniques of every era of the history of music -- Baroque and Bebop, Structuralism and Storyville, Blues and Berio...To the widely discussed question about the future development of the jazz trumpet, Paul Smoker's musical concept could definitely constitute a far-reaching answer." -- Jazz Podium

Smoker studied and performed both jazz and classical music while growing up in Davenport IA, and graduated with a doctorate in music from the U. of Iowa in 1974. As a trumpeter his influences include avant-garde classical sources and also the saxophonists John Coltrane and Anthony Braxton. he taught at Coe College (IA) from 1976 to 1990, and has also taught at the universities of Iowa, Northern Iowa and Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In late 1990 he moved to upstate New York and now concentrates exclusively on composing and performing.

Maintaining a strong commitment to contemporary "classical" music -- both notated and improvised -- along with jazz, Smoker has been a member of the U of Iowa Center for New Music, the Iowa Brass Quintet, SOMA, and presently appears in duo formats with pianists Beverly Smoker and Borah Bergman in addition to presenting solo trumpet concerts. In addition to his own projects as a leader (Paul Smoker Trio and Brass Group) and co-leader (with Vinny Golia), he is a member of Braxton's Tricentric Orchestra, and ensembles led by Phil Haynes, Gregg Bendian, and Damon Short, among others.

He has performed with a wide diversity of other jazz artists over the years, including Dodo Marmarosa, Art Pepper, Frank Rosolino, David Liebman, Doc Severinsen, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Lee Konitz, Dave Sanborn, Herb Robertson, Drew Gress, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway and Marilyn Crispell. Smoker was first nominated to the annual Downbeat Critics' Poll in 1986, and has been the subject of features in Downbeat, Jazziz, Coda and Cadence among other periodicals.

Paul Smoker
136 Garnsey Road
Pittsford NY 14534
phone/fax: (585) 381-3711




Paul Smoker Trio: with Ron Rohovit, bass; Phil Haynes, drums.

QB (Alvas 101 (lp) -- 1984) w/ Anthony Braxton, alto sax
Mississippi River Rat (Sound Aspects 006 (lp) -- 1984)
Alone (Sound Aspects 016 (lp) -- 1986)
Come Rain or Come Shine (Sound Aspects CD 024 -- 1986)
Genuine Fables -- (Hat Art CD 6126 -- 1988)

Paul Smoker - Vinny Golia Quartet: Golia, bari sax & flute; Ken Filiano, bass; Phil Haynes, drums --
Halloween '96 (CIMP 129 -- 1996)
Halloween, the Sequel (Nine Winds 0207 -- 1998)

Paul Smoker: Standard Deviations (CIMP 186 -- 1999) - Steve Salerno, guitar; Tomas Ulrich, cello; Jay Rosen, perc

Paul Smoker: Brass Reality (Nine Winds 0241, 2001 [rec. 1997]) - Herb Robertson, trumpet, valve trombone & Eb tuba; David Taylor, bass trombone & BBb tuba; Phil Haynes, percussion.

Paul Smoker Trio: Mirabile Dictu (CIMP 233 -- 2001) - Steve Salerno, guitar; Ken Filiano, bass

Paul Smoker: Duocity in Brass & Wood (Cadence CJR 1155/56; rec 2001, released 2003) - 2 CDs, one each with bassists Ed Schuller and Dominic Duval

with Anthony Braxton:
Ensemble (Victoriaville) 1988 (Victo 7) w/ George Lewis, Gerry Hemingway, Evan Parker, et al
Charlie Parker Project 1993 (Hat ArtCD 2-6160) w/ Misha Mengelberg, Ari Brown, Pheeroan AkLaff, Han Bennink, Joe Fonda
Nine Compositions (Hill) 2000 (CIMP 236); Steve Lehman, alto sax; Kevin O'Neil, guitar; Andy Eulau, bass; Kevin Norton, drums

Joint Venture: (Haynes, Drew Gress, bass; Ellery Eskelin, reeds):
Joint Venture (Enja 5049 (lp) - 1987)
Ways (Enja CD 6052 2 -- 1989)
Mirrors (Enja CD ENJ-7049 2 - 1991)

Various: CIMPhonia 1998 Part 1 (CIMP 173), Part 2 (CIMP 178) - Joe McPhee, sop & tenor & tpt; Mark Whitecage, alto & sop & alto clar; David Prentice, violin; Dominic Duval & Peter Kowald, basses ; Jay Rosen, perc

Smoker-Magnuson-Filiano-Grassi (Bob Magnuson, tenor & alto saxes; Ken Filiano, bass; Lou Grassi, drums):
Large Music 1 (CIMP 219, 2000)
Large Music 2 (CIMP 226, 2001)

as sideman:

Phil Haynes' Four Horns & What (Eskelin, Andy Laster, reeds; Frank Lacy or Herb Robertson,
low brass):
4 Horns & What (Open Minds 2402 -- 1988)
4 Horn Lore (Open Minds 2413 -- 1991)

Phil Haynes' Insurgency (Jeff Palmer, organ; Haynes, drums):
Live Insurgency - Set 1(Soul Note 121302-2 -- 1998)

Randy McKean (McKean, alto; Gress; Haynes)
So Dig This Big Crux (Rastacan BRD-012 -- 1991)
(Y)earbook Vol 1 (Rastascan CD BRD-004)

Damon Short (perc, composer, w/ Paul Scea, reeds; Larry Kohut, bass; Jim Yanda, guitar; Ryan Shultz, bass trumpet; Jeff Newell, reeds)
All of the Above (Southport S-SSD 0028 -- 1990)
Go Figure, w/ Scea, Shultz, Kohut, Yanda, Chuck Burdelik, reeds (Nine Winds NWCD-0231 -- 2002)

David Taylor (tbn) Ensemble:
Past Tells (New World CD 80436-2 -- 1993)

Gregg Bendian (perc, with Vinny Golia, sopranino & bass cl; Mark Dresser, bass):
Counterparts (CIMP 105 -- 1996)

Marshall Allen with Lou Grassi's PoBand (Allen, alto & flute; Perry Robinson, clar & whistle; Steve Swell, trb; Wilber Morris, bass; Grassi, drums):
PoZest (CIMP 207 -- 2000)

Jay Rosen Quartet (Rosen, drums/hand drums; Vinny Golia - Eb, Bb, bass & sopranino clarinets; Mark Whitecage - alto and Bb clarinets, alto and soprano saxophones):
Canticles for the New Millennium (CIMP 211 -- 2000)

Fonda-Stevens Group (Joe Fonda, bass; Michael Jefry Stevens, piano; Harvey Sorgen, drums):
Live at the Bunker (Leo CD LR 301 -- 2000)

Joseph Jarman with Lou Grassi's PoBand (Jarman, alto & flute; Perry Robinson, clar & ocarina; Steve Swell, trb; Wilber Morris, bass; Grassi, drums):
The Joy of Being (CIMP 227 -- 2001)

Fred Hess (tenor sax, with Ken Filiano, bass; Damon Short, drums):
Exposed (CIMP 249 -- 2001)
Extended Family (Tapestry 76004-2 -- 2002)

Jay Rosen (drums, with Herb Robertson, trumpet/slide trumpet): Drums 'n Bugles (CIMP 253 -- 2002)

John Tchicai with Lou Grassi's PoBand (Tchicai, tenor, b clar & flute; Perry Robinson, clar & ocarina; Art Baronl, trb; Wilber Morris, bass; Grassi, drums):
comPOsed (CIMP 262 -- 2002)


(More on Smoker can be found on Gerry Hemingway's website)

prepared by Damon Short
Damon Short homepage