Hardbopjazz

Jimmy Smith is a Meshugganah

55 posts in this topic

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.

Maybe they're not misrepresenting him.

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That's a sammich even Lou Donaldson won't touch.

Bertrand.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyw6PbNJuoQ

Jimmy goes down on the organ with his tongue at about 6:40 in this video. Unpredictable, indeed!

Edited by Jerry_L

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That's a sammich even Lou Donaldson won't touch.

Bertrand.

:rofl:

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Gotta agree with part of post #14. Something is off in that video, something to do with the speaker's ego.

My one JOS concert experience was at the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival, I think in '96. It was a hot and humid July day. Jimmy played one or two songs, and then some beered-up person in the crowd shouted for him to play "Happy Birthday" to them. Jimmy's response was priceless: "Big fuckin' deal. I got a birthday too." Jimmy played one or two more perfunctory songs -- then announced "It's too fuckin' hot to play" and disappeared from the stage. The band followed (which is weird, now that I think about it), leaving poor Phil Upchurch alone on stage to cover for them all. Phil played two tunes unaccompanied, like a prince. Jimmy eventually came back and played one more. That was perfunctory too.

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Gotta agree with part of post #14. Something is off in that video, something to do with the speaker's ego.

My one JOS concert experience was at the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival, I think in '96. It was a hot and humid July day. Jimmy played one or two songs, and then some beered-up person in the crowd shouted for him to play "Happy Birthday" to them. Jimmy's response was priceless: "Big fuckin' deal. I got a birthday too." Jimmy played one or two more perfunctory songs -- then announced "It's too fuckin' hot to play" and disappeared from the stage. The band followed (which is weird, now that I think about it), leaving poor Phil Upchurch alone on stage to cover for them all. Phil played two tunes unaccompanied, like a prince. Jimmy eventually came back and played one more. That was perfunctory too.

I saw that set. Phil Upchurch played really well, as I recall. At the time I thought, at least I got to see an excellent Phil Upchurch performance. I also thought, well now I have seen Jimmy Smith live......sort of.

Dorothy Donegan played earlier that day and played a whole set without complaining. A festival volunteer told her before her last song that she did not have time for an encore, and she fanned herself and said "don't worry". That was her only comment on the heat that day, which was intense.

Edited by Hot Ptah

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

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Finally watched Primack's video, and there is something a bit self-serving about it. OTOH, about the part where he talks about hanging around the kitchen of the Vanguard as a young man and learning from what he observed there how to separate the man from the music, there's a second book I may write -- personal-anecdotal, with some fictionalization around the edges and changing of names in order to protect the innocent -- that will deal with my sense that when a non-musican encounters a musician, especially a jazz musician, the possibilities for real human contact almost go out the window. Of, course, that depends on what one means by "real," and I'm still working on/thinking about that. First draft would be -- "real" as in what we've all experienced from/with good friends and from/with those whom we love and who love us, the relatively unfettered/unfiltered sense that I am I and you are you, and that is the sufficient human framework. With musicians, especially jazz musicians (perhaps the same is true of professional athletes), there is always the "clubhouse" of special knowledge/special experience and the fact that only those who belong to the club by virtue of their ability to do what those in the club can do really belong in the clubhouse. My response to this has always been -- OK, right you are if you think you are; I don't want to be in the clubhouse anyway. OTOH, over the course of the years, situations arise where one does engage in clubhouse-flavored contact, or in contact with musicians that somehow is not that conditioned by the clubhouse mentality. Many of those situations are kind of funny, others a bit odd or even sad, a few even fulfilling in purely human terms -- and one day I'll probably try to write about some that meant something to me and that I hope others will find amusing and/or enlightening. The last one, if I do write this, is different than most i(at least in my experience) in that it was IMO a real and arguably mutually fruitful, evenhanded, I/you human encounter. It happened when I was delegated to take a very infirm Coleman Hawkins to O'Hare Airport in late April 1969 after his grim final performances in Chicago with Roy Eldridge -- at a public television studio taping and then at a concert at the North Park Hotel. The story is told in John Chilton's Hawkins biography "The Song of the Hawk," but I remember it a bit differently and of course felt what I felt, which it was not Chilton's provenance to ask about or go into.

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

Bradley's, sometime around 1989-1992:

I've finished a set with my trio, during which I had played "I'll Remember April" as a slow ballad. Dorothy calls me over to her table. After I sat down next to her, she puts her hand on my thigh and compliments me on the performance, all the time slowly moving her hand further up my thigh and squeezing. She says "I love the way you played I'll Remember April. You were strokin' it!"

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

Bradley's, sometime around 1989-1992:

I've finished a set with my trio, during which I had played "I'll Remember April" as a slow ballad. Dorothy calls me over to her table. After I sat down next to her, she puts her hand on my thigh and compliments me on the performance, all the time slowly moving her hand further up my thigh and squeezing. She says "I love the way you played I'll Remember April. You were strokin' it!"

Maybe she needed a piano lesson.

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

Bradley's, sometime around 1989-1992:

I've finished a set with my trio, during which I had played "I'll Remember April" as a slow ballad. Dorothy calls me over to her table. After I sat down next to her, she puts her hand on my thigh and compliments me on the performance, all the time slowly moving her hand further up my thigh and squeezing. She says "I love the way you played I'll Remember April. You were strokin' it!"

She was just checking to see if you had a schmeckle.

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talent aside, she was always more than a bit nutty. don't think she had enough money to be called "eccentric"!

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There have been many reports of rough behaviour of Jimmy, and I feel this one rather measured and with no intention to compromise .

However, this story, and many of the comments I read here are related to the last years of Jimmy's life, and maybe alcohol brought him to that sad stage.

I met him twice : the first time after a concert in Brussels in 1963, where he played with Quentin Warren and Bill Hart. I went to see him backstage with my collection of Blue Note sleeves to sign and he looked pleased to see his albums sold in Belgium.

The second time was in a jazz club in 1987, where he was playing with Grady Tate and Terry Evans. As a sound engineer crazy about the Hammond and Jimmy (that goes together, isn't it?), I asked permission to make a private recording of the evening. He agreed to without hesitation, provided, he added, this would remain totally private...and it has, since then. When listening back to these 26 years old tapes, one can hear a dynamic man, full of wit, making jokes with the audience, pretending to speak japanese, very funny indeed. And his playing was of the highest standards possible in a club, much similar to the TV recording in Germany that is mentioned somewhere in the above posts.

I'm rather happy I never saw him as described in this video and in several stories even witnessed by his fans. Every man has his dark side : think simply of Beethoven, or Miles Davis. I'm glad I only met Dr Jeckyll, Mr Hyde was still in a very deep sleep...

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There have been many reports of rough behaviour of Jimmy, and I feel this one rather measured and with no intention to compromise .

However, this story, and many of the comments I read here are related to the last years of Jimmy's life, and maybe alcohol brought him to that sad stage.

I met him twice : the first time after a concert in Brussels in 1963, where he played with Quentin Warren and Bill Hart. I went to see him backstage with my collection of Blue Note sleeves to sign and he looked pleased to see his albums sold in Belgium.

The second time was in a jazz club in 1987, where he was playing with Grady Tate and Terry Evans. As a sound engineer crazy about the Hammond and Jimmy (that goes together, isn't it?), I asked permission to make a private recording of the evening. He agreed to without hesitation, provided, he added, this would remain totally private...and it has, since then. When listening back to these 26 years old tapes, one can hear a dynamic man, full of wit, making jokes with the audience, pretending to speak japanese, very funny indeed. And his playing was of the highest standards possible in a club, much similar to the TV recording in Germany that is mentioned somewhere in the above posts.

I'm rather happy I never saw him as described in this video and in several stories even witnessed by his fans. Every man has his dark side : think simply of Beethoven, or Miles Davis. I'm glad I only met Dr Jeckyll, Mr Hyde was still in a very deep sleep...

You should contact his estate about issuing your private recording. Your promise has expired.

Edited by Jerry_L

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There have been many reports of rough behaviour of Jimmy, and I feel this one rather measured and with no intention to compromise .

However, this story, and many of the comments I read here are related to the last years of Jimmy's life, and maybe alcohol brought him to that sad stage.

I met him twice : the first time after a concert in Brussels in 1963, where he played with Quentin Warren and Bill Hart. I went to see him backstage with my collection of Blue Note sleeves to sign and he looked pleased to see his albums sold in Belgium.

The second time was in a jazz club in 1987, where he was playing with Grady Tate and Terry Evans. As a sound engineer crazy about the Hammond and Jimmy (that goes together, isn't it?), I asked permission to make a private recording of the evening. He agreed to without hesitation, provided, he added, this would remain totally private...and it has, since then. When listening back to these 26 years old tapes, one can hear a dynamic man, full of wit, making jokes with the audience, pretending to speak japanese, very funny indeed. And his playing was of the highest standards possible in a club, much similar to the TV recording in Germany that is mentioned somewhere in the above posts.

I'm rather happy I never saw him as described in this video and in several stories even witnessed by his fans. Every man has his dark side : think simply of Beethoven, or Miles Davis. I'm glad I only met Dr Jeckyll, Mr Hyde was still in a very deep sleep...

You should contact his estate about issuing your private recording. Your promise has expired.

If Jimmy Smith's estate is ok with issuing the recording. that may be one thing. But promises don't have an expiration date imo.

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

Bradley's, sometime around 1989-1992:

I've finished a set with my trio, during which I had played "I'll Remember April" as a slow ballad. Dorothy calls me over to her table. After I sat down next to her, she puts her hand on my thigh and compliments me on the performance, all the time slowly moving her hand further up my thigh and squeezing. She says "I love the way you played I'll Remember April. You were strokin' it!"

She was just checking to see if you had a schmeckle.

That's a new one on me. Why is it that so many words in Yiddish begin with "sch"? I've never seen a Yiddish dictionary, but imagine that "sch" words occupy 100 pages. :rolleyes:

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I understand Dorothy Donegan was a hoot. Would like to hear some reminiscences about her.

I worked opposite her for a few weeks at Jimmy Weston's in Manhattan around 1974 or 1975. iirc Rudy Collins was her regular drummer and Arvell Shaw was playing bass. Subbing was commonplace and one night the drummer was a very famous and very wonderful drummer (an elder statesman still with us) whose name I don't want to mention because this might be an undeserved embarrassment. He sounded wonderful. For no apparent reason Dorothy paid him off and fired him after the first set and called in another (not quite as) prominent drummer, also a great player but NOT like the first guy. I still wonder wtf was she thinking?

Edited by Harold_Z

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There have been many reports of rough behaviour of Jimmy, and I feel this one rather measured and with no intention to compromise .

However, this story, and many of the comments I read here are related to the last years of Jimmy's life, and maybe alcohol brought him to that sad stage.

I met him twice : the first time after a concert in Brussels in 1963, where he played with Quentin Warren and Bill Hart. I went to see him backstage with my collection of Blue Note sleeves to sign and he looked pleased to see his albums sold in Belgium.

The second time was in a jazz club in 1987, where he was playing with Grady Tate and Terry Evans. As a sound engineer crazy about the Hammond and Jimmy (that goes together, isn't it?), I asked permission to make a private recording of the evening. He agreed to without hesitation, provided, he added, this would remain totally private...and it has, since then. When listening back to these 26 years old tapes, one can hear a dynamic man, full of wit, making jokes with the audience, pretending to speak japanese, very funny indeed. And his playing was of the highest standards possible in a club, much similar to the TV recording in Germany that is mentioned somewhere in the above posts.

I'm rather happy I never saw him as described in this video and in several stories even witnessed by his fans. Every man has his dark side : think simply of Beethoven, or Miles Davis. I'm glad I only met Dr Jeckyll, Mr Hyde was still in a very deep sleep...

You should contact his estate about issuing your private recording. Your promise has expired.

If Jimmy Smith's estate is ok with issuing the recording. that may be one thing. But promises don't have an expiration date imo.

I suppose you are right. He should destroy the recording before he dies or leave instructions to do so in his will so it can never heard by anyone else. It's only right.

Edited by Jerry_L

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Anybody who would care enough to watch that guy's video already knows that artists can be assholes, so what's the point?

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