"If your reading this and considering a Jimmy Smith CD, you probably already know that Jimmy Smith was one of the greatest jazz organists ever. You probably recognize Wes Montgomery and also respect him for being one of the better jazz guitarists. So you ask, what is the CD about?
The record was cut in late 1966 when Jimmy Smith had already paid his dues and was at the top of his game, pushing the Hammond B-3 Organ to its limits, and was an inspiration to every keyboard player in every genre after 1996. If you don't already know, Jimmy Smith combined blues and jazz and his favorite sub-genre was a sorta shuffle blues that had a great melody line for about 12 bars, then broke into solos by the various personnel.
The CD was recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder who was the engineer from about 1955 into the late 1970's for Blue Note, Verve, and finally CTI records. He has clean sound, and this is in Stereo, and is not too out of balance like many of the earlier Stereo experiments.
The CD also features Wes Montgomery, a terrific jazz guitarist in the Earl Klugh and George Benson genre. If you like either, you'll like the licks here.
The CD features some big band accompaniments on "Down by the Riverside" which detract from the overall groove the music, and sounds out of place. The band was basically a quartet playing small quartet stuff, and then this 10 piece band comes wailing in.
The best song of the CD is "James and Wes", a signature shuffle blues piece with a terrific melody and some great jams. If you want a greatest hits of Jimmy Smith, this song would have to on it."
An essential jazz masterpiece for any collection
Ciocc | San Cristobal | 11/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of greatest jazz recordings ever - the greatest jazz organist, the greatest jazz guitarist, the cream of the crop of jazz studio musicians and a superlative big band score. While Jimmy Smith had a prolific career spanning decades, Wes Montgomery died not long after this recording of a heart attack. This and A Day in the Life are his two great recordings. The recording quality of this is superior to the later. And this has more pure jazz improvisation. There is something indifinable about the mix of these two geniuses, but this recording really cooks! I have had this recording in various incarnations since it came out, and never get tired of it. I am listening to it now and it is 1,000 volt sound! If you don't have it, get it."
Kai | CA USA | 11/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not pulling any strings here -- I love this recording. It has a mellow, 60's surf type sound to it and I love it. I could definitely see it as a soundtrack to a surf film, because it gives off a vibe of care-free cruisin, no hassles. The improvisation helps eccentuate this feeling. Standouts in my opinion are Jimmy & Wes, 13, and OGD. I am a big fan of mellow guitar jazz and this is just a prime example. In addition, the improvisation is really interesting and adds to the character of the recording. I give it 4 stars because i could do without a couple songs, but the ones I dig surely overshadow that. Recommended"
J. Merritt | 08/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You can argue about which Smith/Montgomery recording is better, this or "The Further Adventures." Me, I like 'em both and I don't care. This was definitely the more upbeat of the two, that much is certainly true, plus this one features what I consider to be the highlight of their collaboration, "Happy-Go-Lucky Local" (aka "Night Train"). For that track alone this is worth owning. Montgomery's hollow-body sound was the epitome of the jazz guitar to me, and he was rarely in better form. Both men just seem to be having fun. I think you will, too."
The Dynamic Duo!!!
Chris Covais | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Wes Montgomery fan for the majority of my life. And a majority of that part, i have only known the orchestral side of him, that I was introduced to as a real young kid. Perhaps, that was the only jazz introduction I got as a real little kid, before around age 12 where I got into heavy jazz.
This was my first introduction to the real jazz side of him. IT was owned by my uncle who had put it on the turntable, where I admired it in awh. "That's the same guy who played, Elenore Rigby?"
Jimmy Smith, monster of the Hammond B-3 compliments Wes good. The whole album is great! It's basically just another jazz album, but never-the-less has some killer tracks!