Louis Smith (musician)

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Edward Louis Smith (May 20, 1931 – August 20, 2016) was an American jazz trumpeter from Memphis, Tennessee.[1]

While studying at the University of Michigan, he played with visiting musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thad Jones and Billy Mitchell,[1] before going on to play with Sonny Stitt, Count Basie and Al McKibbon, Cannonball Adderley, Percy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham and Zoot Sims.[1]

He began his career with two albums for Blue Note. The first, Here Comes Louis Smith, originally recorded for the Boston-based Transition Records, featured Cannonball Adderley (then under contract to Mercury) playing under the pseudonym "Buckshot La Funke",[2] Tommy Flanagan, Duke Jordan, Art Taylor and Doug Watkins. Smith's initial music career was brief; he became a teacher at the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor's public school system, but later recorded for the SteepleChase label.[3]

Smith suffered a stroke in 2006, and was seen occasionally enjoying live jazz in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, but did not return to performing.[4]

His cousin Booker Little was also a trumpeter.

Smith died on August 20, 2016, at age 85.[5]


As leader[edit]

  • 1958: Here Comes Louis Smith (Blue Note)
  • 1958: Smithville (Blue Note)
  • 1978: Just Friends (SteepleChase, 1978)
  • 1979: Prancin' (SteepleChase)
  • 1990: Ballads for Lulu (SteepleChase)
  • 1994: Silvering (SteepleChase)
  • 1994: Strike up the Band (SteepleChase)
  • 1995: The Very Thought of You (SteepleChase)
  • 1996: I Waited for You (SteepleChase)
  • 1997: There Goes My Heart (SteepleChase)
  • 2000: Once in a While (SteepleChase)
  • 2000: Soon (SteepleChase)
  • 2001: The Bopsmith (SteepleChase)
  • 2004: Louisville (SteepleChase)

As sideman[edit]

With Kenny Burrell

With Horace Silver

With Booker Little and Young Men From Memphis