Friday, September 7, 2012
Jimmy Smith - Root Down
Even though Jimmy Smith wasn't the first organ player in jazz, he probably had the greatest impact on the instrument's incorporation into the genre. The accomplished and prolific Hammond B-3 legend released a number of classic breakthrough recordings (too many to mention in one post!), that continued to elevate the presence of the electric organ in jazz music. One of my favorite releases by Smith was his 1972 Verve Records release of Root Down Live!. This album, which features a very memorable photo of Smith raising his finger to the sky on the cover, features a very energetic live set from him and his band that includes funky gems like "Sagg Shootin' His Arrow", "Slow Down Sagg", and the brilliant title track "Root Down (and Get It)". With the heavy groove-oriented tone of Smith's playing backed by some funky rhythms from bassist Wilton Felder, drummer Paul Humphrey, and percussionist Buck Clarke, , it's safe to say that there is plenty of classic "breaks" to go around on this record. Even though by the early seventies Jimmy Smith had already made his mark on the jazz world, the live recording and release of Root Down became a testament to the more adventurous side of the great Hammond B-3 master, resulting in one of his most celebrated recordings he ever played on. ENJOY!
Jimmy Smith - Root Down (and Get It)