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Cool Blues by Jimmy Smith

This is a CD issue of an informal blowing date recorded live at Smalls Paradise in New York on April 7, 1958. Organist Jimmy Smith is featured with alto saxist Lou Donaldson, Harold "Tina" Brooks on tenor, Eddie McFadden on guitar, and either Art Blakey, or Donald Bailey on drums. The disc kicks off with "Groovin' at Smalls", a long, mid tempo blues in which all of the principal soloists take fine turns. Especially noteworthy on this track are Donaldson, McFadden, and Smith, who has a very fast solo in which he employs his famous drone pattern(holding down one note). Next, is "Dark Eyes" a traditional Italian folk song. Tina Brooks really has a great solo on this one, as he is able to play very smoothly over Art Blakey's enthusiastic support. The band then plays a fine, swinging version of Charlie Parker's classic "Cool Blues", which finds Donald Bailey, Smith's regular drummer taking over the drum chair. Lou Donaldson is the man on this track, as he tries to encourage everyone to play a quote from "Now's the Time" as they finish out their solos. This makes the track particularly fun to listen to. Art Blakey is back on board for the Jazz standard "Night In Tunisia". The longest cut on the album, clocking in at 17:28 there are a few musical errors on this cut(Donaldson gets confused, and meanders a bit when Blakey slightly changes his pattern, and Smith starts his solo at the wrong time)but each man, particularly plays to their highest capacity. Jimmy especially,he plays several incredible choruses,and after all that he then plays an unaccompanied improvisation to end the track. The rest of the disc is great as well, as it features two sensitive ballad readings by Donaldson, backed by Smith, McFadden, and Bailey on "What's New", and "Once in A While". There is also a trio track featuring McFadden, and Bailey entitled "Small's Minor", a groove in the great Jimmy Smith tradition featuring a long solo, typical of the leader. At over an hour of music, this disc is a tremendous value to Jimmy Smith, and organ fanatics.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jimmy Smith
  • CD Title: Cool Blues
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1990
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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