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Jimmy Smith (Organ): Midnight Special

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is heard as the perfect front-line complement to Smith's organ."

Album Notes

Personnel: Jimmy Smith (organ); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Donald Bailey (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 25, 1960. Includes liner notes by Del Shields.

The name Jimmy Smith is practically synonymous with jazz organ, and albums such as MIDNIGHT SPECIAL are part of the reason. Of course, there is Smith's legendary gospel- and blues-rooted style and brilliant bebop chops, present on SPECIAL in ample doses. Also, one could not ask for a better band: Donald Bailey, one of Smith's regular drummers; Kenny Burrell on guitar; and Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax. As great as Smith is, it's Turrentine's lusciously rich tenor tone and big bluesy honks that makes MIDNIGHT SPECIAL such a true joy. (Burrell's burr, elegant guitar isn't too shabby either.) In the end, this album is simply a party waiting to happen, for fans of Smith and soul-jazz alike.


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