A singer and trombone player, Smoota writes steamy, sensual, sexy songs about topics rarely heard in music. His groovy, provocative, and arousing style has drawn comparisons to Serge Gainsbourg, Barry White, Bryan Ferry, and Beck. Renowned for his passionate trombone playing and tours with TV on the Radio, Sufjan Stevens, and Spoon, Smoota debuted his solo act in 2010 and quickly developed a reputation for a rare combination of alluring lyrics and warm, erotic sounds.
Smoota recorded Fetishes, his 2013 debut, entirely alone, often late at night, less than ten feet from his bed. Using only one mic, he limited the instruments to voice, trombone, bass, an old Wurlitzer electric organ, and the Maestro Rhythm King, an early 70s drum machine used by the likes of Little Beaver, Shuggie Otis, and Timmy Thomas. Inspired by the soundscape of Sly Stone's There's A Riot Going On, the wordplay of George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, and the honest, confessional treatment of sex and male-female relations found in his favorite movies and books, Smoota emerged with an intimate concept album unabashedly exploring the rich landscape and dark underbelly of male sexuality. Songs explore sexual fantasy, joyful infidelity, the power of suggestion, bodily functions, violence as aphrodisiac, bedroom mishaps, rock n' roll lust, the erotics of race, and, of course, the infinite variety of personal fetishes.
The first Smoota 45 ("Pink Bra Playing Guitar" b/w "Fallin' and Foolin'") will be released in late 2012 on Quieres Chicle, an LA-based label run by KCRW DJ Mathieu Schreyer.
The Fetishes full length will appear in 2013.
Smoota grew up near Boston and studied Film and Literature at Harvard University, where he played trombone and made 16mm films under the tutelage of Yugoslavian maverick filmmaker Dusan Makavejev. After college, he moved to San Francisco and played bass in psych funk band C'mon Feet while working at Ubiquity Records, home of beloved rare groove label Luv n' Haight. Upon moving to Brooklyn, Smoota picked up the trombone again and, after rejecting life as a book editor, began playing music full-time.
He currently plays trombone with acclaimed art rock band TV on the Radio and recently toured with Sufjan Stevens on his trombone-heavy Age of Adz tour (2010-11). He has also played and/or recorded with Spoon, Miike Snow, Elvis Costello, Deer Tick, El-P, Diamond Rugs, MNDR, Pharaoh Monche, Gordan Gano of the Violent Femmes, Akron/Family, Bebel Gilberto, Angelique Kidjo, The Bogmen, Red Baraat, Chin Chin and many others. Since 2009, Smoota has often played trombone and keyboards with Antibalas in Fela!, the Broadway musical directed by choreographer Bill T. Jones about the life of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti . On Halloween 2009, he joined Sharon Jones and members of the Dap-Kings to help Phish cover the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street, documented in the 2010 film Phish 3D. And in 2010, Smoota played trombone and acted in a stage opera version of Melvin Van Peebles' proto-blaxploitation flick Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, directed by Van Peebles himself and featuring music from Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, the cosmic freak soul group led by Greg Tate (co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition with Living Colour's Vernon Reid). Smoota can usually be found on Monday nights playing at Union Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with local dirty gospel R&B institution Rev. Vince Anderson and the Love Choir.
Written by Elmo Cole (2012)