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Blue Bash by Jimmy Smith / Kenny Burrell

This reissue on Verve is quite welcome. These are good, straightforward Jimmy Smith/Kenny Burrell performances. They are supported by Milt Hinton, George Duvivier, Bill English and Mel Lewis (drums). This itself is a little unusual in that Smith (and most organists) do not employ bassists, as they create their own bass lines with the pedals. It’s also nice that there’s no distraction of a big band setting, as Smith was regularly recording at the time. Burrell has always been the ideal partner for Smith and likewise. It is a longtime good marriage of great musical talent.

The tracks are mixed with standards and original compositions, burners and ballads. "Fever," "Blues for Del," and "Easy Living," represent bluesy ballads that combine sensuality, depth and groove in the winning combination. Burrell takes the gentleman’s role of smooth, suave guitar treatment, while Smith energetically states his case. What’s interesting is the treatment of "Soft Winds," which is given a more uptempo vibe, while most jazz artists relegate this to a slow steady funk. "Kenny’s Sound" and "Travelin," round out the disk as the burners, utilizing rapid licks by Smith and Burrell. They trade off in genuine respect and understanding.

The remainder of this CD is filled with alternate takes of the previous tracks that are also worth noting, even if only for comparison’s sake. It’s good to see this session back on the music shelves again.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jimmy Smith / Kenny Burrell
  • CD Title: Blue Bash
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1963
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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