Viola Smith plays drums on "Snake Charmer" (1939)



what fun!

most drummers like to hide, but she has the enthusiasm of a front-woman

It started kinda slow but I got the toe tappin.’

All those drums and she has no snare drum?
It’s like a pianist only playing on the left half of the keyboard.

FWIW the bassist is not really playing her instrument, and her right hand seems awkward, like she doesn’t even actually know how to play the instrument at all. Can’t say for sure about the others, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

She’s great! There’s a higher resolution version here where you can see her drumming better:

That was great! My day is complete now…

I noticed she was only 6 years older than my grandmother who is still living and still pretty sharp, so I wondered when she might have died. Pleasantly surprised to see she’s still alive as well.

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Sadly, it appears that Viola Smith passed away earlier this month. Here’s an interview with her from a year and a half ago:

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Seriously? You’ve not watched a lot of jazz bassists, have you? And yes, the others are actually playing their instruments too.

She looks in great shape, there, for being 99+!

I love her - so joyful, so skillful, so smart!

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