Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

247

Jimmy Smith: Fourmost Return

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
An informal, occasionally rambling conversation between longtime colleagues,Fourmost Returnconsists of seven previously unreleased tracks from a 1990 live performance at Fat Tuesday’s in New York City. With an emphasis on blues material, the record is a no frills blowing session, a format ideally suited to the individual talents of organist and leader Jimmy Smith, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and the drums and cymbals of Grady Tate.

The quartet’s performance of Sonny Rollins’ “Sonnymoon For Two” sets the tone for the entire disc. Smith and Turrentine play the head in unison and Burrell takes the first solo. Riding Smith’s bass line and chords as well as interacting with Tate’s crisp snare drum accents, the guitarist begins with brief, almost casual lines, and gradually becomes both more fluid and dense, displaying an uncharacteristic sharpness of tone. Tate is even more assertive during Turrentine’s turn, anticipating his every move, and raising the rhythmic stakes with nicely timed cymbal crashes. Turrentine responds to all this stimulation with his best work of the set, efficiently melding a bebop-oriented approach and blues licks into a seamless whole. Smith dashes through his first chorus then pauses, letting a phrase or two sink in before impatiently moving on, constantly recasting similar elements while maintaining a kinetic groove.

Smith’s raspy, half-spoken vocal on “Ain’t She Sweet” leaves a lot to be desired in terms of technique, but the moment his solo begins none of this matters. His penchant for trafficking in extremes in the midst of building a coherent statement is gloriously in evidence. Abrupt shifts in dynamics; a sustained rush of notes followed by deck-clearing, keening chords; the hurly-burly of his lines temporarily converted into more relaxed interludes—all of these things frequently give one the feeling that Smith’s about to run aground; however, despite the implication of disorder he always lands on his feet.

Tate’s meticulous shuffle animates one of Smith’s signature compositions, “Back At The Chicken Shack.” The drummer’s trenchant fills enhance Burrell’s cogent blues playing, and also play a role in another agreeable solo by Turrentine. At first Smith responds to a strong backbeat by playing sixteenth note runs that both fly over and allude to it; then, his simpler phrasing incorporates Tate’s bedrock rhythm before again shifting to fleet passages and funky, chordal-framed interludes.


Title: Fourmost Return | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Disconnected" CD/LP/Track Review Disconnected
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Gratitude" CD/LP/Track Review Gratitude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor