In 1999, Smith recruited friends like guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), singer Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), bassist and singer Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), drummer Camine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), guitarist Howard Leese (Heart), singer Kelly Hansen (Foreigner), bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) and drummer Richie Onari (Sweet) to record the critically acclaimed Stuart Smith’s Heaven & Earth. This incredible debut album by rock/blues band Heaven & Earth features British guitarist Stuart Smith (who critics have compared to Beck, Blackmore, Clapton, and Page).
The great swing violinist Stuff Smith had not recorded as a leader since 1945 when producer Norman Granz got him to make three albums for Verve during a three-month period. Smith, who was still very much in his prime, recorded 11 selections (one previously unissued) with pianist Carl Perkins, either Red Callender or Curtis Counce on bass and Oscar Bradley or Frank Butler on drums (Have Violin Will Swing), jammed nine numbers (three released for the first time here) with the Oscar Peterson Trio (for the album titled Stuff Smith), and on five tunes teamed up with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and a rhythm section (Dizzy Gillespie-Stuff Smith); all are reissued in full on this generous two-CD set from 1994. In each of the settings, the violinist excels, making this an easily recommended and very satisfying release.