New on The Checkout: Drummer Nate Smith

Feb 3, 2017

Credit Johnalynn Holland

Nate Smith is a drummer in high demand, and he could have gone in almost any direction on his debut album as a leader. What he explores on Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere is his family history — from his grandfather, who worked a blue collar job in the Jim Crow South, to his parents, who earned enough to send him to college.

Music came into the picture at an early age, Smith says, recalling a particular record he often heard in his father's man cave, in Richmond, Virginia.

The Dude album. He played that record all the time. And it was that rhythm section. That sound. He always used to say he loved the way Quincy Jones records made his stereo sound. He would always used to say, “Man, it sounds so full!”

After years of providing the pulse behind many of the jazz greats today — including bassist and 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland — Smith has stepped out with his own statement, featuring Holland as a special guest.  And as you'll hear in this podcast, the months of Smith toiling in the production studio paid off. 

Nate Smith and Kinfolk perform tonight at Nublu, in New York City.