Song of the Day: Willie “The Lion” Smith, “Echoes of Spring”

Pianist Willie “The Lion” Smith was one of the masters of the stride style. This is a distinctive style that essentially is defined by a wide range of tempos and great emphasis on improvisation. Smith also had an iconic look. He was rarely seen without a cigar and often wore a characteristic derby hat. “Echoes of Spring” is arguably his most enduring composition. The song was originally released commercially in 1939. It is defined by a relaxed tempo, which together with Smith’s virtuosic style, evokes romantic images associated with its title season’s carefree nature.

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