Picks and Pans Review: Dot Com Blues
Jimmy Smith (Blue Thumb/Verve)
You've heard it at roller rinks, wedding receptions and funeral parlors. But the Hammond B-3 organ has also graced countless pop music recordings with its surging, thunderous sound. Among the instrument's foremost masters is jazzman Smith, a 72-year old California-based session musician and recording artist in his own right who here puts his big rig in the service of 11 new and classic rhythm and blues numbers, as well as a lovely, lulling version of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo." With guest vocalists Dr. John ("Only in It for the Money"), Taj Mahal ("Strut"), Etta James ("I Just Wanna Make Love to You"), B.B. King ("Three O'Clock Blues"), Keb' Mo' ("Over & Over") and backup singers Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowen, Smith performs those tunes as well as four original instrumentals (including the swinging title jam). Both a virtuoso player and a funk-loving composer, Smith is clearly glorying in his reign as the widely acknowledged "King of the Hammond B-3."
Bottom Line: Pumping a sonic Niagara Falls
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