The Intense Jimmy Smith
Listen/Download -Jimmy Smith – I’m Gonna Love You a Just Little More Babe
I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like taking a nap. The fall season has two specific effects on me, depending on the presence (or lack thereof) of the sun. If it’s sunny I want to get outside, fill my lungs with the crisp autumn air and love me some nature. If the sun is obscured by clouds, I feel like putting on my jammies and crawling into bed like a hibernating bear and staying there until it gets warm again. It doesn’t help that I’m especially sensitive to tree pollen and have been in an allergic haze, sneezing like a mofo and wishing my head didn’t feel like a solid block of cement.
I suppose this too shall pass.
On to groovier things….
Back in July, when I packed up my records and motored down to DC for a few nights of deejay type action, I had the good fortune to be invited to take part in the fifth anniversary of the Jazz Corner night at St Ex. There were a grip of DJs there, but at the center of the action were the mighty DJ Birdman and DC Digga. At the very beginning of DC Digga’s set he dropped the needle on a sweet break, which opened up into a very groovy Barry White cover. Naturally I had to know what it was and was shocked when my man held up a copy of Jimmy Smith’s ‘Black Smith’ LP.
I’d known about that particular record for a while but had never managed to score a copy of my own. In the weeks that followed I set out in search of one. When I finally tracked one down I gave the song I heard that night ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Babe’ several spins, digging not only the aforementioned break, but the entire arrangement.
This is some of that tasty late-night stuff. The master of the Hammond takes the lush, boudoir groove of White’s OG and adds a little bit of a funky edge to it so that one might dance to it (vertically or horizontally) if they were so inclined.
There are those – of this I’m certain – who would stroll by with upturned noses at the first great master of the Hammond organ ‘debasing’ himself in such a way, but I would respectfully ask those people to pull their heads from their asses and open their ears. By 1974 (when this LP came out) the era of hardcore greasy Hammond workouts had long since ceased to be. It was hard enough in the 60s for jazzers to make a living, and even moreso in the 70s. While some of his peers had moved on to diluted pop-jazz, Smith was still digging deep into the groove. The days of hard bop soloing may have been behind him, but he was still making quality music.
The record was produced by Michael Viner (of the Incredible Bongo Band) with a studio backing band (I’d love to know who that drummer is). The album also includes interesting versions of Timmy Thomas’ ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’ and a funky take on ‘Hang ‘Em High’. ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Babe’ was sampled by a Tribe Called Quest, the Beastie Boys and Kool G Rap.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back on Friday.
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