Jimmy Smith Trio – live at Festival de Paris – October 28, 1984 – Radio France Musique – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The immortal Jimmy Smith in concert this weekend. Recorded at Théåtre de la Ville during the Festival de Paris on October 28, 1984 in this extended excerpt recorded by Radio France.
Can’t think of a better capper to a holiday than a set by Jimmy Smith. Without question, one of the pivotal figures in Keyboard Jazz, certainly of the B-3 whose live gigs are always spot-on and inspirational – no matter what, no matter when.
I will go out on a limb and say the three Jazz B-3 players who have made a huge difference are Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Brother Jack McDuff – that’s my opinion and these are my go-to icons in the area of solace, comfort food and joy I’ve found throughout my life. Although all roads lead to Smith, McGriff and McDuff come with their own points of view. Splendid contributions, one and all.
On this show he’s joined by Terry Evans on guitar and Melvin Lee on drums. There are actually two gigs on this post – the first one is from the Festival de Paris in 1984 (See See Rider and Polka Dots and Moonbeams) and Bluesing/See See Rider is from Festival de Mariac on August 12, 1988. They were both rebroadcast recently by Radio France Musique from one of the many excellent Jazz programs from that network.
Smith influenced a constellation of jazz organists, including Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco and Larry Goldings, as well as rock keyboardists such as Jon Lord, Brian Auger and Keith Emerson. Emerson would later recount a story where Smith grabbed Emerson’s “meat and two veg” as a humorous greeting. Later, Smith influenced bands such as Medeski, Martin & Wood and the Beastie Boys, who sampled the bassline from “Root Down (and Get It)” from Root Down—and saluted Smith in the lyrics—for their own hit “Root Down”. Often called the father of acid jazz, Smith lived to see that movement come to reflect his organ style. In the 1990s, Smith went to Nashville, taking a break from his ongoing gigs at his Sacramento restaurant which he owned and, in Music City, Nashville, he produced, with the help of a webmaster, Dot Com Blues, his last Verve album. In 1999, Smith guested on two tracks of a live album, Incredible! (the hit from the 1960s) with his protégé, Joey DeFrancesco, a then 28-year-old organist. Smith and DeFrancesco’s collaborative album Legacy was released in 2005 shortly after Smith’s death.
Crank it up, relax and raid the fridge for the last of the Turkey.