Edward Louis Smith (born May 20, 1931, Memphis, Tennessee, United States) is an American jazz trumpeter. While studying at the University of Michigan, he played with visiting musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thad Jones and Billy Mitchell, 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.
Memphis trumpeter Louis Smith had an almost mythical career. Smith started off in fast company that included Kenny Burrell, Cannonball Adderley, and Zoot Sims, then recorded two rare albums, and finally retired from the scene to become a music teacher, only to return to music in 1978. One of those rare LPs, 1958's SMITHVILLE, is mainstream hard bop of the highest order. While there are no surprises per se, this set features an incredible group–Monk's right-hand man tenor saxophonist Charles Rouse, post-bop ace pianist Sonny Clark, Miles Davis bassist Paul Chambers–playing with a genuine fervor. SMITHVILLE is a virtual must-have for hard bop fanatics.
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…
Nicknamed The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on other jazz vocalists.