Jimmy Smith has been instrumental in defining the role of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. But no matter how he works the bass pedals, how aggressively he plays with the stops, or how far out his solos go, Smith has never moved far from the blues, making him a consistently popular player for more than five decades. On Dot Com Blues, the organ titan turns out to be a fine accompanist to B. B. King, Etta James, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, and Keb' Mo'. Smith and Dr. John warm up with the New Orleans pianist's streetwise "Only in it for the Money" and then cook on the funky instrumental they co-wrote, "Mr. Johnson." James checks in with her growling, prowling version of Willie Dixon's "I Just Wanna Make Love to You," while King revives his "Three O'Clock Blues." Mo' took his tune "Over & Over" into the studio, and with Smith's jazzy runs behind him the folky singer sounds almost as uptown as Joe Williams. Mahal's contribution, "Strut," is the most relaxed cut: His husky voice sounds as if it was made to ride atop the organ. Bassist John Clayton guests on a sultry-sweet "Mood Indigo," and guitarist Russell Malone adds some very tasty solos, most notably on two Smith original instrumentals, "Tuition Blues" and the title cut, and a reworking of "CC Rider." Even with all this star action the best tunes on Dot Com Blues are the ones that put the organ center stage. Here the maestro is comfortable enough to milk his instrument for everything it has to offer. And while the image of Etta James sashaying or Taj Mahal doing his strut across the studio in front of Smith is an enticing one, it's the organ grinder himself who steals this show.
Dot Com Blues 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
Organist Jimmy Smith has been on the scene for nearly half a century now and demonstrates with this album that his technical proficiency and feel for his music are not in the least diminished. Dot Com Blues features a variety of blues styles and Smith and the accompanying ensemble tackle them all with obvious enthusiasm. Not all the cuts feature Smith's organ as much as have some of his earlier releases, but his sidemen and vocalists do a superb job of making this album a thorough pleasure. Ths reviewer was especially thrilled by the magnificent horn charts featured on some cuts; they were reminiscent of the great sounds that came out of Detroit and Motown in the mid to late 1960s. My faith in the irrepressible Jimmy Smith is reaffirmed by this album. The man is a great and innovative musician who clearly enjoys his art and fans of the ''King of the Hammond B-3'' will not be disappointed. by this release..