Hardbopjazz

Jimmy Smith is a Meshugganah

55 posts in this topic

When I saw Jimmy Smith live in 2003, he threaten to kick my ass for smiling and clapping real loud. When my wife leaned over and asked if it was me he was taking to, Jimmy stared at us, then said, I'll kick your bitches ass too. He had been drinking during the set.

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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By all accounts, he had many demons. It's a shame really. I tried to meet him in Detroit and he wouldn't have anything to do with me. His bodyguards told me he wouldn't talk to no cracker.

Still love his music and his influence is undeniable.

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When I saw Jimmy Smith live in 2004, he threaten to kick my ass for smiling and clapping real loud. When my wife leaned over and asked if it was me he was taking to, Jimmy stared at us, then said, I'll kick your bitches ass too. He had been drinking during the set.

Sheesh, you didn't take any photos, did you? :g

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I have never been more disappointed in the actions of one of my favorite Jazz musicians than I was with Jimmy Smith. I am not at all surprised to hear that Verve fired him mid tour for insulting the audience and his own band on the bandstand. I saw it from the front row.

This video bums me out even more.

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FWIW, I had an insane phone conversation once with Smith in 1996. It was a cold call -- I was calling to confirm he was playing with Kenny Burrell at the Detroit Jazz Festival and I was in front of the official festival announcement. I knew casually that he was a piece of work, but he was so aggressive and crude that I was really taken aback. I recognized that he was trying to intimidate me -- another "goddman white writer asking stupid questions about the old days" (his words). So I hung in there and tried to give him a bit of attitude and humor in return. To the extent I kept him on the line for a couple minutes without him hanging up on me I guess I was marginally successful. But I couldn't get anything usable out of him, not even a kind word about Kenny -- he was determined not to give me the satisfaction of getting anything quotable. On the other hand, his wife was very friendly and helpful.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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The late Martin Drew remarked that Jimmy Smith was the only musician he'd come across who announced to the audience,"Now I'm going to take a shit." :huh:

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Love his music, but saw him once and it was more than enough. Pops warned us on what to expect. He spent more time talking/swearing than playing. It was just as strange/fasnaticing to watch as seeing Charles Gayle in full clown suit and makeup. When he wasn't playing he was proselytizing

Edited by Blue Train

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I saw JOS when I was 17, which was the thrill of my life at the time on a double bill with Jack McDuff at the Blue Note. JOS was complaining to my uncle about the cabs, I was so sky high seeing my hero that, the fact his playing was standard and his attitude very poor didn't bother me.

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i saw jimmy twice. the first time was in the fall of '95 or spring of '96. he was touring in support of 'damn'. a friend and i caught him and indeed, he was talking shit all night long. as i recall, he was jousting with some people in the audience about one thing or another, but i don't recall it being over the line. then he'd have these lengthy asides with his band where the guitarist (not a player i remember) seemed to be the brunt of his temperment. i'd never seen anything like it and was bent over howling in my seat. it so cliche ridden that it was like something out of 'spinal tap' or some such. it really tickled me. jimmy was laughing and carrying on - not at all in a nasty way - at least towards the audience. i told so many people about that night that the next time i checked him out was on the aforementioned 'angel eyes' tour (if you could call a string of club appearances that). wait - maybe it was for that blue thumb 'dot com blues'. in any case, there were like five friends of mine wanting to check out jimmy's schtick, so we all went together. jimmy didn't say a damn word. i couldn't believe it! in between sets one of us tried to say hi or get an autograph and were met by some linebacker looking 'bodyguard' or minder. i realized that jimmy wasn't well at all. he didn't look well. his playing was missing a soul (which is saying something), and he just looked down. it was less than a year that he died.

Edited by etherbored

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Jimmy Smith said the only two guitarists he never had to tell what to play were Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery. He must have forgot his session with Grant Green which has the amazing Back Talk on it. The tune Grant does his party tricks on.

There is a funny story in the liner notes to the Verve Wes Montgomery cd, where Russell Malone and Mark Whitfield recall stories they heard about Jimmy Smith and Wes.

When Wes arrives at their session for Verve, Wes gets out of his car and before he has even introduced himself to JOS he says...'don't go messin' with me. I've heard about how you mess with guitar players, don't start anything with me :lol:

The other important part of the story was how Wes got out of the car in a very well tailored suit. 'Clean', was how Malone and Whitfield relate it.

Great liner notes on that one.

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That's quite a story by Bret Primack but a very good practice he picked up along the way: separating the music from the person.

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What did he expect? That Jimmy Smith was gonna kiss his ass. Or sorry......should that be tookus.

He should have sucked it up and accepted not every jazzman was going play by the marcus of queensberry rules.

Is this pathetic little passive aggressive youtube anecdote meant to be some kind of belated payback/riposte to Jimmy Smith.

And he makes a point of saying he still got paid! Big fuckin' deal.

Fuck off Bret. I'm glad I didn't have to read your insipid little liner notes.

Edited by freelancer

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What did he expect? That Jimmy Smith was gonna kiss his ass. Or sorry......should that be tookus.

He should have sucked it up and accepted not every jazzman was going play by the marcus of queensberry rules.

Is this pathetic little passive aggressive youtube anecdote meant to be some kind of belated payback/riposte to Jimmy Smith.

And he makes a point of saying he still got paid! Big fuckin' deal.

Fuck off Bret. I'm glad I didn't have to read your insipid little liner notes.

Oh no, Lola Smith has shown up on the boards! Now I suppose Jim's going to have to scrub this thread and remove all of these negative words. Obviously Jimmy was a saint. Everyone else is completely misrepresenting him here.

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It was interesting when Jimmy tongued his own organ, as he sometimes did. It was like having an extra finger to hold down a note.

I don't think Jim A. would really want Jimmy tonguing his organ, but I could be wrong.

Edited by Jerry_L

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What did he expect? That Jimmy Smith was gonna kiss his ass. Or sorry......should that be tookus.

He should have sucked it up and accepted not every jazzman was going play by the marcus of queensberry rules.

Is this pathetic little passive aggressive youtube anecdote meant to be some kind of belated payback/riposte to Jimmy Smith.

And he makes a point of saying he still got paid! Big fuckin' deal.

Fuck off Bret. I'm glad I didn't have to read your insipid little liner notes.

what the hell is wrong with you? why are you attacking someone who gives more to jazz in a week than you do in a year?!? if that.

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It was interesting when Jimmy tongued his own organ, as he sometimes did. It was like having an extra finger to hold down a note.

I don't think Jim A. would really want Jimmy tonguing his organ, but I could be wrong.

:rofl:

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Good stuff. More stories!

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But there's noneed to attack Jim A!

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I hope you don't think I was attacking Jim, 7/4.

I would just like to know what he thinks of organ tonguing as a performance technique. Has he ever used it himself? If he let another player check out his organ, would he mind if they used their tongue on it?


It was interesting when Jimmy tongued his own organ, as he sometimes did. It was like having an extra finger to hold down a note.

I don't think Jim A. would really want Jimmy tonguing his organ, but I could be wrong.

:rofl:

Thanks, I'm glad there is at least one person here who appreciates my sense of humor.

Edited by Jerry_L

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JOS really struggled, and I read one story where one jazz journalist found him indulging in cocaine in the bathroom at some point in the mid 90's. When he was hanging with Joey D. around the time they cut "Legacy", he seemed happy and healthy. Joey's companionship after Lola died really helped him.

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JOS really struggled, and I read one story where one jazz journalist found him indulging in cocaine in the bathroom at some point in the mid 90's.

I'll bet he didn't even offer to share!.

Edited by Jerry_L

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………..but he MARRIED one !

By all accounts, he had many demons. It's a shame really. I tried to meet him in Detroit and he wouldn't have anything to do with me. His bodyguards told me he wouldn't talk to no cracker.

Still love his music and his influence is undeniable.

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What did he expect? That Jimmy Smith was gonna kiss his ass. Or sorry......should that be tookus.

He should have sucked it up and accepted not every jazzman was going play by the marcus of queensberry rules.

Is this pathetic little passive aggressive youtube anecdote meant to be some kind of belated payback/riposte to Jimmy Smith.

And he makes a point of saying he still got paid! Big fuckin' deal.

Fuck off Bret. I'm glad I didn't have to read your insipid little liner notes.

what the hell is wrong with you? why are you attacking someone who gives more to jazz in a week than you do in a year?!? if that.

Nothing wrong with me.

You don't see something off in this little piece of youtube detritus?

I stand by my comments.

That 'interview parody' must be a real barrel of laughs.

Sonny Rollins electrician has given a lot to Jazz. Mensch. Meshugganah.

Hand maidens to the stars.

Edited by freelancer

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