The Kansas Smitty’s House Band have been quietly, or depending on where you’ve been spending your evenings, not so quietly, carving out a name for themselves as one of the driving forces in the London jazz scene. Their reputation, built on their incendiary live shows, has recently been cemented by the release of their full debut album and the opening of their own bar venue in East London.
The House Band don’t like to be boxed in. As their debut album exemplifies, they make wide use of the the sour mash of styles that has allowed them to cross the divides between generations and dispositions. Moving through sounds of swing, blues, R&B, New Orleans ethnic music, and gospel, they relentlessly pursue a sound of their own, seeking out and creating a genre-blind audience for their music. The Sunday Times summed it up nicely, saying ‘Conservatories or cocktails? If jazz is to survive it will need more bands (like this one)’.