For guitarist/composer Adam Smale, the pursuit of musical expression began at the tender age of seven years old. Today, four decades later, that journey has reached a new peak with the release of his new quartet CD, Out of the Blue, which clearly demonstrates the extraordinary results spawned from the various twists and turns of all of those years of development.
Born in 1967 in a small working class community in Northern Ontario, Adam’s musical roots were first set in Country and Bluegrass. Too small at seven to handle the 5-string banjo that was his desire, he took up the guitar, immediately forming a lifelong bond and personal commitment to the instrument. By the time he was 12, he was performing professionally with local groups and by the time he was 14, he was an experienced professional, performing in clubs, bars, community events, weddings and private parties.
During these formative years, the young guitarist immersed himself in a wide variety of musical influences. But it wasn’t until his years at Humber College that he discovered jazz, and his path took a profound turn. “Jazz felt completely natural. I was always improvising, even when I was very young. Being somewhat naive, I thought everyone improvised all the time. Jazz was the perfect vehicle to express this natural propensity that I seemed to have.” Rather than abandoning his roots – or his earlier influences like Chet Atkins, Albert Lee, Eddie Van Halen, Flatt & Scruggs – Adam began to forge a new direction for himself in the classic tradition of true jazz expression. Discovering a goldmine of jazz guitar masters, including Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, and John Scofield, along with Charlie Parker and Bill Evans, a new world of possibilities opened up for him.