Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
274

Jimmy Smith: Root Down

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Much of the music on Jimmy Smith’s Root Down seems tailor-made for sampling by today’s hip-hop and electronica artists. Small wonder that the Beastie Boys had a hit in 1994 with their rap version of the title track. On this 1972 reissue, three of the album’s original tracks are restored to their full, unedited length and a sluggish alternate take of "Root Down (and Get It)" is also included.

Although this was supposed to be Smith’s foray into hard-edged funk, the organ master’s rootedness in the blues is everywhere apparent: "Root Down" is actually a 32-bar blues with a polyrhythmic bridge, and the hyped-up, 70s-to-the-core groove vehicles "Sagg Shootin’ His Arrow" and "Slow Down Sagg" share comparable blues-based structures. A smoking version of Avery Parrish’s "After Hours" showcases Smith in a more traditional slow-blues mode. And covers of Al Green’s "Let’s Stay Together" and Peter Chase’s "For Everyone Under the Sun" take the album into more laid-back, pop-soul territory.

Smith’s organ work is smooth and fiery in equal proportion. Arthur Adams plays burning, overdriven guitar solos and picture-perfect wah-wah rhythm parts. Bassist Wilton Felder (of the Jazz Crusaders), drummer Paul Humphrey, and percussionist Buck Clarke make up the formidable rhythm section, laying down the grooves that make the record a masterpiece of 70s instrumental funk.


Track Listing: 1. Sagg Shootin

Personnel: Jimmy Smith, organ; Steve Williams, harmonica (track 3); Arthur Adams, guitar; Wilton Felder, bass; Buck Clarke, congas, percussion; Paul Humphrey, drums

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

My Blue Note Obsession
Building a Jazz Library
My Blue Note Obsession
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A Date With Jimmy Smith
A Date With Jimmy...
Fresh Sound Records
2011
buy
Plays The Hits
Plays The Hits
Verve Music Group
2010
buy
Sit On It / Unfinished Business
Sit On It /...
101 Distribution
2010
buy
Three Classic Albums
Three Classic Albums
101 Distribution
2010
buy
Got My Mojo Workin' / Hoochie Coochie Man
Got My Mojo Workin' /...
Verve Music Group
2009
buy
Plays Fats Waller
Plays Fats Waller
Blue Note Records
2009
buy
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor
Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson
saxophone
Jimmy McGriff Jimmy McGriff
organ, Hammond B3
Larry Young Larry Young
organ, Hammond B3
Stanley Turrentine Stanley Turrentine
sax, tenor
Charles Earland Charles Earland
organ, Hammond B3
Joey DeFrancesco Joey DeFrancesco
organ, Hammond B3

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.