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Jimmy Smith (Verve)

Jimmy Smith
Dot Com Blues
2000, Verve/Blue Thumb

Dot Com Blues is up to date, tying in the techno aspect with swing it on down, down-right hot jazz-blues of the first order! Jimmy Smith's Hammond B-3 has been an omnipresent voice behind great jazz and blues recordings for almost 50 years. His wailing Leslie fueled warble and funky right hand are now center stage, joined by a who's who, as the 21st century rediscovers the man behind the wood cabinets, multiplicity of pedals and ivory covered keys. The groove is smooth and cool. He opens with Dr. John, then welcomes Taj Mahal, Etta James, Keb Mo and BB King to a bluesfest. The breakdown is complete as you are swung and small comboed, horn blasted and even Duked (Ellington, that is) all on a bed of Hammond B-3 à la Smith. Dr. John’s "Only In It for the Money" is piled high with NOLA feel and organ blasted get down. Smith's phrasing is just so. Next up is "Eight Counts For Rita" that chugs down the jazz-R&B highway. Taj's "Strut" is funkadelic with stuttery guitar, caramel vocals and Hammond, Hammond, Hammond! "CC Rider" is slow blues as if it were written on the wood beast. He then wrenches soul buckets with Etta in a slow glide through "I Just Wanna Make Love To You." Ellington's "Mood Indigo" is a cruise along mellotone lane for almost 9 celestial minutes before Keb Mo expostulates about the cost of love in "Over and Over." BB King's "3 O'Clock Blues" is the cooker of the lot. He shouts it while Dr. John and Jimmy trade ivory virtuousities. The title track [RealAudio sample from the Verve site] is a Memphis Stax soul blues instrumental straight out of 1968 or, is that 2001? Following close behind is a chop top, high octane, horn driven dual keys (Jimmy and Mac, again) manifesto that sets the stage for the closer, "Tuition Blues." It settles in and rocks slow and hard. Winwood obviously borrowed licks from Jimmy, Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell played with him and you should spool him up in your MP3. Too wicked!—Mark Gresser

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