Stuff Smith was one of the big three of pre-bop violinists along with Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli. Many of his fans said that he could outswing all of his competitors, and certainly Stuff was a major force on the bandstand. Smith, who cited Louis Armstrong as his main influence, studied music with his father and played with the family band as a child. His first major job and recordings were with Alphonse Trent's territory band in the 1920s, but it was not until 1936 that he had his breakthrough. Leading a quintet at the Onyx Club with trumpeter Jonah Jones, Smith's comedy vocals and hard-swinging approach made the group a hit on 52nd Street for several years; his novelty I'se a Muggin' became a hit. Smith worked regularly with his trios in the 1940s, but was in danger of being forgotten in the '50s when Norman Granz recorded him fairly extensively for Verve; Stuff also participated in Nat King Cole's After Midnight sessions for Capitol. The violinist moved to Copenhagen in 1965 and was active until his death two years later. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

Stuff Smith - Bugle Call Blues (Live 1965)
Smith, Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown & Alvin Stoller - Stuff Smith (Full album)
Stuff Smith - Lullaby of Broadway
Stuff Smith with Ella Fitzgerald and the Oscar Peterson Trio
Stuff Smith - You'se A Viper
Stuff Smith 1939-1944 (entire CD, 25 Tracks)
The Complete Verve Stuff Smith Sessions Vol.1 [1999] - Stuff Smith
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