Smiley Winters: drums on all tracks. Barbara Donald: trumpet on 1, 2, 3 & 5. Bert Wilson: tenor on 1 & 5; soprano sax on 2; tenor and bass clarinet on 3. Chris Amberger: bass on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7. Harley White: bass on 1 & 5; claves on 6. James Zitro: drums on 1 & 2; congo drums on 3; bongo drums on 6. Mike O'Barra: congos on 1; bongo drums on 3; piano on 6. Jerry Sealand: bass on 2. Rafael Garrett: thumb piano, flute, voice, bass, horns, etc. on 3. Michael White: violin on 3. Paul Smith: drums on 3. Eddie Marshall: drums on 3. Frank Jackson: piano on 4 & 5.
#7 ‚ recorded by Chris Strachwitz at the Newman Center in Berkeley, CA. on February 7, 1969 on portable equipment. All other tracks recorded at Sierra Sound Studio in Berkeley, CA. on March 19, 1969.
“If Williams ‘Smiley’ Winters had been based in New York instead of Oakland, he no doubt would have been widely recognized as a major jazz drum stylist. He did all manner of gigs, from backing strippers and accompanying cocktail lounge pianists to shuffling the blues in juke joints, but jazz was the primary arena for his art, particularly jam sessions. He participated in them almost as if they were religious rituals, sometimes for pay, more often simply for the fulfillment spontaneous creation affords the soul.”
(from notes by Lee Hildebrand)
1. Two Trains
2. Love Is Enlightenment
3. Smiley Etc.
4. Frank's Blues
5. Some Blue Shoes
6. Just Steppin'
7. Smiley's Mini Drum Suite
“This is engaging stylistic variety, but the most successful tracks are the intense free-blowing sessions like 'Two Trains.' It's nice to have Smiley, Etc. again, not just because there were few recordings to document this period, but because, like much music of the time, the feeling is so up.”
(Duck Baker — East Bay Express)