Another "contractural commitment" album!
Dr.D.Treharne | Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom | 06/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Together with "Prayer meetin'" this was the second Blue Note album recorded in two days by Jimmy Smith to free himself of his contract and to move on the Verve records.This one has Lou Donaldson on alto sax and Quentin Warren on guitar. Donald Bailey plays drums and 'Big" John Patten rattles tambourine on tracks 2,3 &6.Clearly,Smith was struggling to find tunes to fill these albums, as some of the tracks like "Matilda,Matilda", "Just a closer walk with thee" and the version of "When my dream boat comes home" barely make the collective personnel break out in a sweat, and rely on numerous tempo changes to drive them along. However, mixed in with these are some outings that clearly demonstrate that the group could produce excellent product if the material was right.On Donaldson's "Pork Chop" there's serious evidence of Smith trying to get inside the tune, and Donaldson, as might be expected, puts a lot of effort into making it move along. Smith's own "Can Heat" does the same, and the reading of Percy Mayfield's "Please send me someone to love" is satisfying as well. There are no bonus tracks, but the remastering is clean and satisfying. Even when he's confronted with material that's barely suitable, Smith seemed to be able to draw out some pleasing performances and four tracks commend this album as an example of Smith's work in 1963 just before his move to a new label."