Four of these songs were re-released inon Savoy's By the Fireside see below. Although the tracks on this LP and the next one were recorded for Verve, that label chose not to issue the material; the music subsequently was picked up and released by MGM.
InOutstanding finally began to issue the first albums in what grew to become a fairly impressive Paul Smith catalogue. But distribution was spotty at best, and would only get worse with time.
The LPs were reasonably easy to find in Southern California, and somewhat difficult everywhere else; as a result, they remain prized by jazz fans. Billboard magazine tracked Smith's early recordings on Outstanding, which is how this discography is able to specify some release dates.
But even that music industry Bible stopped paying attention after the initial wave of albums, which is why specifying later release dates is next to impossible. The situation grew even worse when Beecher embraced digital technology and re-released the initial LPs on CD, and issued subsequent releases solely on CD; the label had no media exposure whatsoever as the century turned, and the discs became even harder to find than the LPs had been.
Ordering direct via Outstanding by phone or mail was pretty much the sole option. As an additional insult, Beecher could be, ah, casual when it came to citing sidemen on Smith's albums. Smith didn't record exclusively on Outstanding, moving forward from ; as you'll see, he also worked with a few other indie labels. Having abandoned the vinyl format, but apparently not yet willing to embrace digital, Beecher and Outstanding released Smith's next three albums solely on audiocassette!
These three albums are extremely difficult to find in their original tape format; fortunately, their contents later were mostly re-issued on CD. After thankfully! The first two Paul Smith CDs drew from the back catalog and were designed to whet appetites for what was to come.
His production output became ambitious, Baby (CD discs of new material with re-releases of Smith's existing catalog on Outstanding Records.
Unfortunately, Beecher approached the latter process rather uniquely. Rather than faithfully reproducing album contents as they had appeared on the original LPs and tapesBeecher often mixed and matched songs according to style, composer, presentation solo, duo, trio and other criteria.
The results are a discographer's nightmare. As just one example, the next disc released — The Master Touch — doesn't simply reproduce the LP of the same name; indeed, the CD doesn't even include all 12 songs from that album. Instead, the disc's 14 tracks draw from two sources.
Some LP songs pop up on several CDs; other analog tracks aren't re-released at all. The contents of Album) Introspective audiotape are scattered among four! Similarly, although the Art Tatum Touch CD logically includes most of the contents of the two corresponding LPs, two songs are left out. In a few cases, songs recorded inon CDs of new material, appear again in collections of mostly repeat analog material!
Perhaps worse, little production care was taken with these digital transfers, Invitation - Paul Smith Quartet - Softly.
Whatever the reason, many most? This isn't an issue with the discs of new material, but it can be a bit distracting when listening to the compilations. In numerous cases, the disc copyright dates don't match the copyright dates printed on the paper data.
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