Soulful organ master meets orchestral genius
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 05/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By the time Jimmy Smith moved from Blue Note to Verve in the early '60s he was widely acknowledged as the ruling jazz Hammond organ player in the world. He was not only seminal in introducing the instrument to jazz, he continued to innovate throughout the '50s and '60s. His feet provided funky bass lines, his left hand swinging chords, and his right hand lightning-quick gospel-influenced runs. Given the fullness of his playing, it's a wonder there was even room for other players on his sessions.
Even more impressive is the way this 1964 release weaves together the breadth of Smith's organ with the full-blown band arrangements of Lalo Schifrin. Smith leans more heavily to soul than jazz on these eight tunes, and his interplay with the orchestra is necessarily formalized by the use of arrangements. Still, Schifrin adds some unexpected twists with a punchy horn section that augments Smith's staccato runs and fluid vamping. For more organ in a big band context, check out Smith's Verve debut, "The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith," which paired him with the legendary Oliver Nelson. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]"
Jimmy Smith -- Still The BEST! Awesome CD!!
Eddie Davenport | Happy Camp, CA | 12/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I met Jimmy Smith, I've followed Jimmy, and his passing is a loss for all jazz fans. This great CD, "The Cat" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" are two of the greatest big band / Jimmy Smith arrangements. If you know Jimmy Smith, you already have this CD or your collection is seriously lacking. If you haven't heard "Virginia Wolf", it is NOW available --- Don't Miss IT! Two of the best. Two "Most Played" CDs in my collection!
Enjoy. It is terrific."
Jazz organ and big band in perfect match!
Terje Biringvad | Oslo, Norway | 06/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jimmy Smith's move from Blue Note Records to Verve in 1962, also changed his "organ voice" when playing big bands with more commercial tunes popular at the time on this excellent album - "Theme from Joy House,"The Cat" and "The Carpetbaggers". Still Smith's playing is familiar on the blues-oriented material on the album like "Delons Blues", "Blues in The Night" and "Delon's Blues", where he is at his best with Lalo Schifrin's excellent big band charts. The hard swinging big band with notable supporting musicians, Smith plays the organ (actually a Hammond C3 is being used on the recording session but who cares other than Hammond freaks?) very clever to balance with the big band, which has been a challenge for most jazz organists recorded with a big band. This big band CD stands out to be No.1 from Smith's big band outings on Verve!"