In 1999, Smith recruited friends like guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), singer Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), bassist and singer Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), drummer Camine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), guitarist Howard Leese (Heart), singer Kelly Hansen (Foreigner), bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) and drummer Richie Onari (Sweet) to record the critically acclaimed Stuart Smith’s Heaven & Earth. This incredible debut album by rock/blues band Heaven & Earth features British guitarist Stuart Smith (who critics have compared to Beck, Blackmore, Clapton, and Page).
Guitarist Chuck Wayne came to prominence in the 1940's & 50's. He was best known for his work with Woody Herman and George Shearing. He was also Tony Bennett's musical director from 1953-57. Joe Puma was a contemporary of Chuck and fellow guitarists Jimmy Rainey and Johnny Smith, winning the Metronome New Star award in 1957. The two guitarists teamed up in 1973 for some duet playing in the tradition of Barnes/Kress and Ellis/Pass and this resulting album is one of the best of the genre.
"Two of the very finest of seasoned veterans are presented on this album. The collective playing experience of Joe Puma and Chuck Wayne covers an awesome line-up of major jazz artists and singers (if the names of Charlie Parker, Artie Shaw, Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee don't make you stop and think, they you've come to the wrong record bin)". (Jim Hall)