In late 2012, drummer Marc Carmi Smith began to create a band based on “straight ahead” jazz roots. Smith, or “Carmi” as he is known among his band mates, honed his jazz skills at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston during the ’80s neo-classic jazz movement. He carefully chose musicians—Michael Bello, Nick Knoles, Sanford Barnett, and Anna Pfeifer—to join in on his vision. Stacks’ music demands a certain amount of intellectualizing by the musicians. But the results are far from cerebral, and certainly not cold or detached. This music is of vivacity, emotion, and involvement. It is complex in theory but relaxed in execution, and always at the root of blues.
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