Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Slow Groove: Jimmy Smith and Stanley Turrentine

Jimmy Smith (left) Stanley Turrentine

After a long slow crowded delayed flight to the northern hemisphere I arrived shattered.  24 hours on I’m still feeling sluggardly.

Appropriate to that languid feeling is the slow swing of tonight’s post, Prayer Meetin’ by Jimmy Smith and Stanley Turrentine.

There are not many sounds more groovy in the Milky Way than that of the Hammond B3 organ. Its electric and electrifying and about as close to bottled magic as you can get. It gurgles and bubbles. It squeals and groans.  You want to simply let the music envelope you. And you’re looking to fill the dance floor there is no better way to get people off their bums then to let loose a rush of funky organ riffs.

Jimmy Smith was an R&B piano player from Pennsylvania who so fell under the spell of the organ he locked himself in a warehouse with a Hammond B3 for a year and taught himself to play.  When he emerged he had revolutionized the sound and style in which it was played. He brought his piano playing to the instrument and pecked out (often at lightning speed) a note at a time thereby introducing the ‘clicking’ sound of the key hitting the board that is now synonymous with jazz organ playing.   From the moment he walked out of the warehouse until he died in 2005 he was referred to simply as ‘The Incredible’.

Stanley Turrentine was a R&B sax player from Pennsylvania.  He toured a while with Lowell Fulsom the great blues guitarist before slipping like Jimmy Smith into the world of jazz.  He married Shirley Scott another organist and hooked up with Jimmy to record some of the best  jazz jugalbandis  (duets) of the 1950’s and 60’s.

If you’re feeling like moving slow today/tonight or even if you’re not, you will enjoy this truly groovy set of tunes. 


            Track Listing:
            01 Prayer Meetin'
02 I Almost Lost My Mind
03 Stone Cold Dead In The Market
04 When The Saints Go Marching In
05 Red Top
06 Picknickin'
07 Lonesome Road
08 Smith Walk
Listen here.

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