Adam Smale 7-string Jazz Guitarist: (Solo/Duo/  Trio/Quartet)
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Adam Smale 7-string Jazz Guitarist: (Solo/Duo/ Trio/Quartet)


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"Toronto guitarist Adam Smale plays with great authority and confidence right from the opening... keeps the focus on strong original compositions and terrific interplay..." - Jazz Report - Jazz Report

"Adam a master guitarist with a nice subtle tone and great comping skills with a knack for pulling off some truly inventive soloing". - -

"Adam is a very talented musician, both as a guitarist and a composer...(I'm) impressed with the high level of musicianship...and by the innovative and challenging material..." - Ted Quinlan, Jazz Guitarist
- Ted Quinlan, Toronto Jazz Guitarist

"...FUN CITY is a tasty treat for jazz ears. Attuned to innovation... excitement. It proves that his career could and should only go in one direction. UP!!" - Tien Providence, CKLN 88.1 FM - Tien Providence, CKLN 88.1 FM

"I just saw you in concert.Wow!!!!!!!! You were very impressive, hope to see you in concert again!!!!" - Fan - Impressed Fan

"I think u r one of the best guitarists in Canada." - Fan - Fan

"Great stuff man! Unique sound. Finally someone who's trying to do something a little different." - Wally D, CKLN 88.1 FM - Wally D, CKLN 88.1 FM

"Hey Adam I was one of your students in Nashville...I really like your Fun City CD...Thanks for the great classes." - Paul Johnson, Student - Student


Fun City (2000) - SBM1-2: This CD was No.9 in Canadian Radio, the Canadian National Jazz Cart, for the month of September, 2000.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Bar River (35min east of Sault Ste. Marie), a very small working-class community in Northern Ontario, Canada, is the place that provided the young guitarist with his deep roots in Country and Bluegrass music. Initially, at seven years old, he had wanted to the play 5-string banjo, but when told by a local teacher he was too small to play it, he tried his hand at the guitar. His bond with the instrument was immediate. By the age of twelve, he burst onto the local scene performing at various community events. He became a member of the musician's union at the tender age of twelve, and by fourteen, was on the road, gaining a valuable experience, playing bars and weddings around Northern Ontario. Lately Adam has been quickly making a name for himself amongst the more famous entertainers and has recently been hired to perform with REGIS PHILBIN.

Like many kids with a passion to play, Adam's attention quickly turned to guitar-driven rock, adding this genre to his record collection. A need to grow and expand musically was paramount. It was at this time that a personal quest was cemented and impassioned seeds were planted and allowed to flourish over time; logically so, this organic blend of musical genres was given fertile ground to grow its own solid, dynamic, ever-probing roots.

After eight years of performing, Adam's talent and creative drive had exceeded the limitations of small-town exposure. He made the move to Toronto, enrolling in the excellent music program at Humber College. Humber introduced Adam to the music of the jazz greats, exposure to other types music, and recognizing his roots in country, Adam was making a natural progression to his own brand of Jazz. However, it was not until years later, after graduating, that Adam found another monumental influence, a guitar master who also touted Chet Atkins a mentor as young "picker"-- none other than Lenny Breau.

Breau's guitar work inspired Smale to take yet another new direction in Jazz Guitar playing. After serious contemplation, Adam discarded his flatpick to wield a thumpick once again--a return to his youth. "It seems strange; I’m kind of steppin’ back and moving forward at the same time. But, I can coax more nuances from the guitar with a fingerstyle technique." Adam asserts. "Lenny's thing was to sound more like a piano player. You're playing chords for yourself while you play melodies or solo." This challenging technique, demonstrates Adam's constant endeavour for improvement with a fearless approach to musical growth and discovery. This expansion in Adam’s musical evolution, in fact, also caused him to expand his guitar. Literally! He designed a seven-string guitar and had a local luthier build it for him. Adam clarifies, "With six strings, I felt a little boxed in. I now have more flexibility with the extra string."

Adam has performed in South America, India, and the Middle East, as well as performing in the Toronto area. One side-project, is experimental band Camarillo; it is a melting pot of genres, including World Music, Electronic, with strong free-improv elements. Adam conducts classes and seminars in Canada & the USA, for Guitar Workshop Plus, the National Guitar Workshop, as well as juggling select private students in the Toronto area.

Adam's debut CD, Fun City, reached No.9 in the Canadian National Jazz Chart in September 2000. More recently, the Adam Smale Quartet placed 2nd in the renowned Grand Prix de Jazz contest, during the 2002 Montreal Jazz Festival.


Don Thompson

Donald Thompson was born in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. He lived in Vancouver from 1960 to 1965 working as a freelance musician primarily on bass. He appeared with groups led by some of Vancouver's finest musicians. In 1965 he joined the now legendary John Handy Quintet and moved to San Francisco for a two year stay. During that time the Handy Quintet performed extensively throughout the United States and recorded two albums for the Columbia label. One of these, "John Handy live at the Monterey Jazz Festival", became one of the most popular jazz albums of the 1960's. (Now available on CD). Whilst in San Francisco Don also worked with Frank Rosolino, Maynard Ferguson, Denny Zeitlin and George Duke.

He returned to Canada in 1967 and has been a resident of Toronto since 1969. In that year he joined Rob McConnell's BOSS BRASS as a percussionist, switching to bass in 1971 and later to piano 1987 - 1993). He was also a member of Moe Koffman's group from 1970 to 1979 as pianist or bassist, contributing arrangements and compositions and working as co-producer with Koffman on two albums - "Museum Pieces" and "Looking Up". He also worked extensively with guitarists Ed Bickert, Lenny Breau and Sonny Greenwich while keeping busy with his own various projects.

As a member of the "house rhythm section" at Toronto's Bourbon Street Jazz Club he worked (and recorded *) with such Jazz Celebrities as Paul Desmond *, Jim Hall *