Wednesday, February 13, 2019

L'Age D'Organ

Let's get the promised flurry really precipitating with the first of three in a row, this one depicting the 40th anniversary of a swingtastic show from one of the legends.
This is yet another of those amazing France Musique rebroadcasts, where they kick down a full performance of some icon or another over two consecutive weekends.
The author of today's is the man most responsible for shifting the Hammond organ from the bandstand of the church on Sunday morning to the bandstand of the nightclub on Saturday night.
We take the instrument for absolute granted now, but it's only five or six decades since it made the transition from liturgical to secular axe.
Our hero of the hour started on piano -- and there's a segment in today's fare where he plays solo, letting you know exactly how proficiently and with what kind of touch he could do so -- but soon switched to the B-3, breaking the organ out of its religious connotations and putting it firmly in the zone of Jazz and popular music where it resides now.
And for this, Jimmy Smith is -- even almost 15 years gone -- still a household name and as associated with his chosen instrument as any player you could name.
He pretty much invented the funky organ trio sound out of whole cloth in the 1950s, and if you had a dollar for every rapper that's sampled his licks you'd be able to purchase the continent of Australia.
All of this prowess is on display in today's hour-and-three-quarters of mayhem, taped in a Catholic school in France exactly 40 years ago today, and supplied here from the 2018 rebroadcasts in pristine sonic shape.
Jimmy Smith Quartet
Institut Catholique d’Angers 
Angers, France
2.13.1979

01 The Cat
02 8 Counts for Rita
03 Organ Grinder’s Swing
04 Easy Living
05 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
06 Who Can I Turn To?
07 It's All Right with Me
08 piano medley incl. Satin Doll/Evergreen/Yesterdays/Summertime
09 Laura
10 Midnight Special
11 The Way We Were
12 Walk On the Wild Side
13 Sonnymoon for Two

Total time: 1:44:18
disc break goes after Track 08

Jimmy Smith - organ, piano
John Phillips - soprano, alto & tenor saxophones; flute
Ray Crawford - guitar
Kenny Dixon - drums

digital capture of a composite of two 2018 France Musique rebroadcasts, comprising the whole performance
659 MB FLAC here
This set truly sparkles and sizzles, with exemplary moments and sequences from all the players, not just The Maestro/leader.
I shall return tomorrow with something truly rare and eminently fucked up, count on it.
But today you must listen to your organ -- no matter how down and dirty that might sound -- and get next to this wicked Jimmy Smith excursion through all the stops.--J.
12.8.1925 - 2.8.2005