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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
JIMMY SMITH - THE UNPREDICTABLE JIMMY SMITH: BASHIN' / HOBO FLATS
A Hammond organ double-header – two Verve classics from Jimmy Smith, back to back on a single CD! First up is Bashin – one of Jimmy Smith's biggest albums of the 60s – and a classic Verve pairing of his lean Hammond organ solos with the fuller, hard-swinging arrangements of Oliver Nelson! Nelson is working here at the height of his powers – backing Smith with a large group, but in a way that only seems to free him up to solo even more – pushing the tunes with an undeniable power from the all-star band, as Jimmy takes off on flights of soulful fancy over the top! Side two features some more stripped-down solo work – in the manner of Jimmy's later Blue Note sides – and the set includes the hit single "Walk On The Wild Side", plus the tracks "Bashin", "Step Right Up", and "Beggar For The Blues". Hobo Flats is another mighty pairing of Jimmy Smith and Oliver Nelson – one that has the heavy Hammond of Smith set up in some sparkling jazz backdrops from Nelson! The sound here has some bluesy undercurrents, as you might guess from the title – but Oliver's charts keep things hip throughout, and ensure that the record stays far from any 60s cliches in the music – and always keeps one ear out for the sharper edges that always makes Nelson's arrangements a great match for Smith. The horns are full at times, but Jimmy's organ bursts right out over the top – gliding along a great groove with a really inherent sense of rhythm. Titles include a shimmering bossa take on "Meditation", plus "Hobo Flats", "Walk Right In", "I Can't Stop Loving You", and "The Preacher". ~ Dusty Groove