4 CD's remastered by Ron McMaster, with the best of Jimmy Smith at Blue Note records, from his first session up to his very last session in the 80's. Specially worthy are the first 2 CD's including a bunch of material that is out of print, including Jimmy's first albums. I am really happy overall with the track selection, I'd probably change one or two: 'Flamingo' is really a Lee Morgan feature, and the albums 'Cool Blues' and 'Six views of the blues' are not represented here'; but this still is the definitive Jimmy Smith compilation. Booklet includes session details and essay on the tracks that are included here. Pricey, but it is worth your money.
on December 9, 2006
I was reading this month's Down Beat and Jimmy Smith has (finally) made it to the Hall Of Fame. This Retrospective is an excellent place to start for new listeners or for Jimmy Smith fanatics alike. Every cut on the 4 CDs are worthy of inclusion and there are some great ones included for Jazz or Blues fans. I'm listening to my copy right now. I just got finished listening to the "Duel" between Jimmy and Art Blakey, a 10 minute duet between B3 and drums that is alone worth the price of admission. This boxed set includes a nice booklet with a bio of Smith's career and the dates of recording of the songs, etc.
This boxed set would make an excellent gift idea or just a great way to add some seminal organ Jazz/Blues to your collection. The people who this would probably appeal to are keyboard afficionados, Jazz history buffs, any Hammond B3 organ fans, and even anyone who enjoys the awesome sound of that classic B3 organ/Leslie speaker combination. After all, you might as well get some inspiration from the source, because Jimmy Smith is the first and most important B3 Organ player from the 50s to the 80s. He is a "god" of the B3 in Jazz.
on January 3, 2011
I am impressed this collection contains the absolute best of Smith's Blue Note years and hardly leaves anything left to be desired, it contains the absolute best songs spanning his early years from his 1956 albums to his departure from them in 1962 to record for Verve. Smith is the absolute best organist in the history of jazz and this collection is the perfect showcase of his versatility and skill on the Hammond B3. It contains his most well-known jams like The Champ, The Sermon, Back at the Chicken Shack, and Midnight Special. This album is the greatest thing for casual organ jazz/Jimmy Smith fans as it gives you the essential songs on most of his most famous Blue Note albums. If you are die-hard you probably will want individual albums, but this collection still contains a lot of his hard to find earlier stuff recorded in the 50s, and you get more than you bargain for. Plus it is remastered.
on December 8, 2009
This four CD set of the best of organist Jimmy Smith's material recorded on the Blue Note label is awe-inspiring & sucks the listener in with the sheer virtuosity of Jimmy Smith & the excellent musicians he always surrounded himself with. Jimmy Smith along with Brother Jack McDuff made the Hammond B-3 organ an instrumental force in jazz. A list of the supporting players here is a veritable who's who of classic jazz & make this set a must have. Featured throughout the music here are drummers Donald Bailey, Art Blakey (ass kicking drummer!), & "Philly" Joe Jones (of Miles Davis fame), guitarists Thornel Schwartz, Eddie McFadden, Quentin Warren, the great Kenny Burrell, & the great Grant Green, tenor sax players Hank Mobley, Tina Brooks, Ike Quebec (very underrated, Percy France, & Stanley Turrentine, alto sax players Lou Donaldson, George Coleman (also of Miles Davis fame), & Jackie McLean, trumpet players Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, & Blue Mitchell (very underrated), & trombone player Curtis Fuller. These bands cook & the instrumental interplay is breath-taking. For all who love jazz & great displays of instrumental virtuosity, don't miss this set!