Hal Smith

Hal Smith is an Arkansas-based drummer and writer. He leads the New Orleans Night Owls and the

Mortonia Seven and works with a variety of jazz and swing bands. Visit him online at


Panama, Pt. 2

In the previous issue of The Syncopated Times, we explored the similarities and (copious) differences between recordings of “Panama” made during the 1920s and 1930s.

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Panama, Pt. 1

Hal Smith: Jeff, when you think about the traditional jazz “warhorses”—like “At The Jazz Band Ball,” “That’s A Plenty” or “Fidgety Feet”—traditional jazz musicians usually

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Hotel Bienville Roof Ballroom, New Orleans

Dancing Jazz, Part 2

Jeff Barnhart: Hal, we left off our discussion in Part One with a brief analysis of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and their way of

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A Blues Dance by Miguel Covarrubias (plate from Blues by W.C. Handy, 2nd Ed., 1926)

Jazz for Dancers, Part 1

Jeff Barnhart: Hal, this month’s column marks a thematic departure for us, but it is a subject about which I’ve given considerable thought over the

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