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Bobby Timmons (Riverside: From the Bottom

C. Andrew Hovan By

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Although he's largely remembered for his "soul-jazz" hits such as "Dat Dere" and "Moanin'," pianist Bobby Timmons was an accomplished enough musician that the range of his abilities far exceeded his commercial successes. As a result, over the course of a half dozen trio dates he led for Riverside in the early '60s Timmons put on tape some of the best performances of his career; records that also demonstrated how diverse his talents really were.

The recently reissued From the Bottom would be the last of his trio projects for Riverside before they folded and he ultimately jumped over to the Prestige label. It more than sufficiently sums up his career to that point with a divergent set that touches on many moods and finds him taking on some new roles as well. The title track is in the low-down funky style that already had made a name for Timmons, but the rest of the set is somewhat beyond the expected. Both "Corcovado" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" start out with Timmons on piano and then find him switching over to the vibraphone, an instrument he plays with relative ease (he would revisit the vibes on his later Prestige date, Chicken 'n' Dumplin's ).

If there were any doubts about Bobby's technical prowess, they can be laid aside after witnessing the bravura solo medley he gives to "You're Blasé" and "Bewitched." The only reservations about the set come with the closing performance of "Moanin'," with Timmons on the theater organ that was present at the studio. Needless to say, after the first few notes, visions of roller skaters come to mind. It's not enough, however, to sink what is easily one of Timmons' most variegated and sublime efforts.


Track Listing: From the Bottom, Corcovado, Medley: You're Blase/Witchcraft, If I Should Lose You, Samba Triste, Someone To Watch Over Me, Moanin' (33:06)

Personnel: Bobby Timmons- piano, organ (#7), vibraphone (#2, 6); Sam Jones- bass, Jimmy Cobb- drums

Title: From the Bottom | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


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