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Jimmy Smith: The Boss (2005)

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Jimmy Smith: The Boss No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Recorded at Paschal's La Carousel in Atlanta, Georgia, this '68 date has Jimmy Smith's organ paired with George Benson and Nathan Page on guitar as well as Donald Bailey on drums. The three originals, "Some of My Best Friends Are Blues," "The Boss," and "Fingers," are typical of Smith's compositions with organ and guitar conjuring electrified versions of the blues, soul and jazz. The Burt Bacharach tune, "This Guy's In Love With You," comes with more sophistication in its chords and gentler execution.

Smith's excellence on the organ, almost taken for granted nowadays, is the highlight of the album. As a previous review suggests, the man directs the massive, almost beast-like sound of the organ to speak and dance in human emotions. Another highlight throughout this set is guitarist George Benson. His licks on the opening track, "The Boss," and "Tuxedo Junction" are impressive in skill and tasty in flavor. The newly remastered, 24-bit sound is clear enough to almost catch some of the conversations at this historic Atlanta restaurant. (Sadly, the club may soon be demolished.) Though Bailey's drumming occasionally sounds dull on this new release, it is a minor quibble on an otherwise excellent reissue.

Track Listing: Some of My Best Friends Are Blues/ The Boss/ This Guy's In Love With You/ Fingers/ Tuxedo Junction

Personnel: Jimmy Smith- organ; George Benson, Nathan Page- guitar; Donald Bailey - drums

Record Label: Verve Music Group

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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