HAMMOND B-3 VIRTUOSO JIMMY SMITH was one of the most
accomplished jazz musicians of all time, and also the largest selling jazzbo
during the 1960s. Throughout this excellent performance, filmed in Paris on December 1st 1969, he demonstrates why with able backing from drummer Charlie Crosby and guitarist Eddie McFadden. The trio run down jazz standards such as Ellington’s “Satin Doll” and Rodgers’ “My Romance,” period show themes such as Mancini’s “Days of Wine and Roses” and Bacharach’s “Alfie,” and classic blues such as the traditional “See See Rider” and Preston Fosters’ “Got My Mojo Working” (on which Smith does his best Ray Charles vocal impression).
Whether picking or thumbing Wes-style, McFadden employs a deft touch, usually going more for finesse than flash when soloing—though occasional flourishes and daredevil embellishments suggest that his approach was a matter of choice rather than technical limitations. Wearing sunglasses and playing a Florentine cutaway Guild archtop with a single-coil pickup through what looks like a Fender Bandmaster, he opens up more on the blues numbers, straddling Chicago and Harlem with soulful conviction.
Get a little taste of the action for yourself in the excerpt form the Jazz Icons Series video below. Reelin’ in the Years.
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