RIP–Jimmy Smith

I’ve been hearing that Jimmy Smith died last night– this is the loss of a great jazz legend. I have often wondered why there have not been more organ players in jazz. While there are several any jazz fan can name at the drop of the hat (Lonnie Liston Smith, John Patton, Larry young, Groove Holmes), the organ (particularly the Hammond B3) has been relegated to “funk jazz” status in the minds of many fans.

Not that there is anything wrong with funky, or groove jazz, but the organ deserves a better shake– and there has been no better representative of the instument in jazz than Jimmy Smith. He will be missed, especially as he has remained active and vital in the music scene (I am told he has ana lbum due with Joey DeFrancesco).

What’s upsetting is a Google news search turns up nothing as of 2pm ET today. Pathetic.

Music Listening– in the P’s

I have way too many CDs (is ther such a thing?). Anyhow, at some point in 2004 I gave up being selective in packing my travel CD case (ok– I know I haven’t joined the iPod generation yet, but give it time), and just started throwing in my CDs alphabetically (right, that’s completely anal behavior). I am up to “P” now, which means I have been listening to…

Oscar Peterson– great Jazz pianist, but can bore the heck out of you with too much listening. I don’t think he changed his style or made any real innovations over 50 years, but a great player nonetheless.

Best of the CDs I have– Live at Zardi’s, just a great 2 CD set.

Overrated: West Side Story– eh. The jazz trio-playing-a-Broadway-show CD I wish for is actually the Shelley Manne trio playing “My Fair Lady”– not sure if it has ever been issued, but I remember it’s fantastic.

Tom Petty– I always liked Petty, but the Greatest Hits album that covers up until 1993 is enough for me. I loathe the Jeff Lynne-produced albums (as much as I enjoy the Wilburys), so this CD gives me no more than I need of that.

After that era, Wildflowers is a great CD– just Great. She’s the One, not so much, and Echo is alright.

I just want to move back in the alphabet and mention a group I fell in love with a couple of years ago: The Move (speaking of Jeff Lynne). For some reason this band never hit it in the U.S., charting only the song “Do Ya” (which was promptly forgotten when ELO re-recorded it and had a huge hit). This band defied categorization– within the 60’s Brit-pop scheme of things, anyway, and was led by Roy Wood’s zany genius. For some reason I can’t get enough of listening to othis band, whether it’s early songs like “Fire Brigade” and “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” to their late singles like “Tonight” and “California Man.”

There is something about finding a group that none of your friends knows about, then looking smart in front of Brits when you mention them, that I find compelling.

Welcome

Just starting, so I expect no readers (nor do I ever, thought this a good way to vent or work out thoughts). I will form a more cohesive body of work over the next several posts.