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4.6 out of 5 stars7
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on December 7, 2004
This has to be the best Jimmy Smith recording ever made. I bought this recording on LP when it was first released and was ecstatic when it was rereleased on CD. Together with George Benson, this recording highlights both players' unique stylings and talents. One of my favorite cuts next to the title track is Jimmy's rendition of Herb Alpert's "This Guy's In Love With You." Soft and sultry, this instrumental version lets you fully appreciate Alpert's composition without the cheesy vocal track of the original version. Smith's exceptional technique on the Hammond B3 come to life on all tracks, and Benson's guitar work is unmatched. This is a MUST HAVE if you enjoy either of these phenomenal artists.
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on April 5, 2006
This album is one of those cool little gems that will bring a big smile to your face. Recorded live in Atlanta I believe in the late 60's, this pairs Smith with George Benson who though still only in his twenty's was already a jazz guitar legend, and showcases some fantastic performances. The opening track "Some of My Best Friends are Blues" finds them in a fairly straight 12 bar form and Benson's solo features a line that sounds like he had listened to Jimmy Page! Things really get into high gear on the next tune, a minor blues which is the title track. Benson solos first, and shows the kind of technical virtuosity mated with beautiful melodic ideas that would soon become his trademark on the CTI recordings. Smith too is in exceptionally fine form, with his usual fiery pyrotechnics, yet never does his playing seem shallow. They follow with a popular tune of the day, "This Guy's in Love With You", and once again both Benson and Smith turn in stellar performances. Nathan Page replaces Benson on "Fingers", and shows a more laid back and obtuse style, but is nonetheless a very fine player. The album finishes on a high note with "Tuxedo Junction" with Benson back on guitar. The only negative thing about this disc is that at times the crowd noise can be a bit distracting, but the performances are so good, you probably won't care.
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on February 12, 2005
Jimmy Smith's recent passing has caused me to listen to my entire collection of his albums, finding new respect for each one, for varying reasons. "The Boss," a 1968 live recording from Atlanta, Georgia, is harder to find than its counterpart, the more funky and rocked out "Root Down," but equally impressive.

"The Boss" finds Jimmy Smith backed by a bare-bones lineup (just guitar and drums), but the musicianship is top-notch. Jimmy's playing is more psychadelic and wild than his studio stuff from the late 1960s, hinting towards where his sound was headed in the early 1970s (as well as the sound of mainstream music, in general).

If there's one complaint about the album, it's that the songs simply fade out at the end before the players have finished, leaving me wondering how much of each song was cut off and left out. This also takes away from the whole "live" feel, making it difficult to completely lose yourself in this performance. Still, this flaw does not take away from the musical talent being displayed. This is a great companion to anyone looking to expand their Jimmy Smith (or simply jazz) library.
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on April 12, 2006
With a worn-out The Boss LP from the late `70s still having a special place in my collection with a - Only to play on special occasions - tag on, this CD reissue from the Verve vaults is most welcome since this album is one of the most remarkable trio recordings in Jimmy's recording years at Verve. Recorded live in 1968, "The Boss" a real treat from start to end (unfortunately no additional tracks on the reissue). Opening with the Smith slow and down-to-earth blues classic "Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues" with George Benson on guitar, always delivering the goods, and long-time drummer colleague from Blue Note Records area, Donald Bailey, Smith stretches out beyond normal standard from this man. The level of command, improvisation and raw organ playing on the remaining tracks leaves the listener with one question - what happed that night? Fortunately it was recorded. The late Nathan Page on guitar, sitting in on "Fingers" for George Benson, is a real surprise and support Jimmy at the highest standard.. The Boss is also unusual in the Jimmy Smith vein since there's no change in the organ registrations throughout the album - no chorus and usual 3 lower stops out. Verve - please pull out more live Smith recordings from your vaults like "Live in Hamburg" and "Live at Village Gate" with bonus tracks.
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on October 8, 2005
The Boss features Jimmy Smith leading a trio with guitarist George Benson and drummer Donald Bailey; Nathen Page replaces Benson on "Fingers," which was culled from another live set. There's a lot of interplay on all the tracks, and everyone gets a chance to stretch out. The musicians sound inspired, and the two guitarists' contrasting approaches bring out different sides of Smith. Benson, a notorious speed demon, is perhaps relaxed by the leader's cool, most noticeably on the slow blues "Some of My Best Friends Are Blues." Jimmy Smith recorded a lot, and his trio dates often blend together, but The Boss stands out.
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on March 11, 2015
One of the best the late Jimmy Smith ever recorded. Sidemen are in sync. If you want to hear a Hammond B3 played, get this one.
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on May 20, 2015
cover had writing on it, vinyl was somewhat scratchy
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