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Back at the Chicken Shack Import

42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

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This is the kind of nasty, back-alley music that makes you wince in ecstasy. With Stanley Turrentine's tenor and Kenny Burrell's guitar sharing solo space, the Hammond master digs in with a blues-drenched shovel. While certainly fluent in the bop idiom, Smith's organ work maintains a direct emotional peg that reflects the swing and jump blues of a previous generation. Turrentine, a relative newcomer at this point (1960), proves a perfect foil for Smith's funky ideas, forgoing flashy bop runs in favor of soulful, expressive passages. Even on chestnuts such as "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street," the foursome boils the melodies down to their barest bluesy core. Back at the Chicken Shack is the prototypical soul-jazz recording. --Marc Greilsamer

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  • Sample this album Title (Sample)
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9:54
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7:33
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Europe Generic
  • ASIN: B000005H4M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,887 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By G B on July 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
First things first: ignore the low average rating for this album -- this is one of Jimmy Smith's best (maybe THE best) albums and a major jewel in the crown of Blue Note records. It's not funky in the James Brown sense, it's funky in the heaps-and-heaps-of-soul, a-groove-six-feet-deep, "What the hell is happening back at that chicken shack?" sense.
As far as groovin', bluesy B3 jazz, you really can't do better than this album. Donald Bailey has a heavy, booting swing and Jimmy Smith's chunky basslines propel the music along. Kenny Burrell's playing is beautiful here -- very subtle and tasteful, the yin to Jimmy Smith's powerful organ yang. And as far as I'm concerned, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is lifted to deity status by his playing on this session. Saxophone playing doesn't get any more soulful and meaty than this.
The title track is just a blues, but what a blues it is. Jimmy digs in with the riff, Kenny plays one of his marvelous, low-key solos, and then Turrentine makes history with an absolutely mind-boggling huffin' and puffin' solo. Even the standards on this CD (classic interpretations of "When I Grow too Old to Dream" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street") sound bluesy. And despite the fact that the title track is the most famous piece here, I think "Messy Bessie" is the best here. Judging by the song, she must be a fun girl to hang around.
If you like this album, get its twin (recorded the same day), Midnight Special. Other great Jimmy Smith albums are Crazy! Baby, the Sermon, and Cool Blues. But I don't think any of them are as awesome as whatever the hell is going on Back at the Chicken Shack.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Claude Lapointe on February 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I agree 100% with Guy from New Haven. And even though I don't possess all of Jimmy's albums, this has to be his best... Maybe the the best jazz album ever!!! Never heard anything so groovy; it's B3 organ, Tenor Sax and good rhythm galore!!!

I don't know which track is best because they're all stunning but to name a few, maybe "Minor Chant" by Stanley Turrentine (who brilliantly plays the sax throughout the album), stands out a little... not by much though. "When I grow too old to dream": what a sweet melody!... Messy Bessie (by Jimmy) is so good, I would have appreciated a finale instead of the fade-out we got (but that's okay). And technically, the 1960's Blue Note pure, clear, and no-fuss analog recording sounds flawless.

If you're jaded with the traditional organ-drums-guitar formation, check this out because tenor saxophone truly adds a uniquely elegant and amazingly powerful dimension to Jimmy's already great sound! This will put a smile on your face and make your head bounce!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By j. on September 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
What's there to say about Jimmy Smith that has not already been written? He's a true jazz pioneer, the "Miles Davis" of the Hammond (electric) organ, one might say. Like Davis, Smith has changed his sound drastically over the years, from Hard-Bop of early "Sermon" years, to Soul and eventually even Big Band style. But unlike Miles Davis or John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith is virtually unknown outside of jazz circles. This is truly unfortunate (and surprising), given the fact that so many rock and roll bands have used the Hammond B-3 organ in their songs over the past three decades. If it wasn't for Smith, the instrument would arguably not have as widespread appeal among musicians. On this album, widely regarded as his strongest, Smith's playing is groovy and laid back, but not in a lazy way. Continuing with the Miles Davis analogy (because everyone, even non jazz-enthusiasts, are familiar with Davis' work), consider this Smith's version of "Kind of Blue." It's cool, calm, and collected. But at the same time, Smith accents the entire thing with a heavy dose of straight-up soul. Smith, who has had one of the most prolific careers of anyone, deserves more recognition and credit for his work in the genre. But until that happens, there will be plenty of jazz fans grooving to this album, waiting to say, "See, we told you so" to the rest of the music world.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Edd Anderson on October 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I was born in Jimmy's hometown, and influenced by the "Philly" sound. I have listened to him for more years than I care to remember. I was fortunate enough to have an aunt who was in to jazz, and was introduced to Duke, Clifford Brown,Count Basie and on, before I was 10. What I do remember was records were still 78's and can remember the new 45RPM, my aunt bought a 56 Crown Vic that had a slide out 45 record player,(great on smooth roads)so I was influenced by the blues and jazz all my life.
I probably have most of Smith's recorded works, I have a top 200 album collection,no vinyl, just CD, and Chicken Shack and Midnight Special,the RVG remasters, both reside there.I have high end and custom CD players and at my age I long ago gave my vinyl to a relative, that has a ton of it. I also have the original 1987? CD's but prefer the RVG reissues.
Most all of the artists Rudy Van Gelder recorded, wanted Rudy to record them. I lived in the East Village in the 60's and early 70's.And spent alot of time at the "Vangard" and all the other West Village Venues and would get to "Slug's on the East Side",which was a great venue. I know what the music sounded like live, and the RVG series overall captures the sound the best. I have most of the RVG series and a few of Dual Disc SACD issues. At this point I am going to purchase one more SACD,probably "Chicken Shack", and decide If I will buy anymore. So far my feeling is the people that do the SACD transfers on some of this are not the best.
I have lived my life with the blues and jazz, have shared a drink with Missisippi John Hurt and used to have a photo of Horace Silver? holding my son.
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