Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Shrdlu

Jimmy Smith "Plays Fats Waller"

58 posts in this topic

For some reason, I never got around to listening to this album until a few days ago.

Here are the details

Jimmy Smith, organ; Quentin Warren, guitar; Donald Bailey, drums.

van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, January 23, 1962

tk.1 Everybody Loves My Baby Blue Note 45-1851, BLP 4100
tk.2 Ain't She Sweet -
tk.4 Ain't Misbehavin' Blue Note BLP 4100
tk.7 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do rejected
tk.8 I've Found A New Baby Blue Note BLP 4100
tk.11 Honeysuckle Rose Blue Note 45-1852, BLP 4100
tk.12 Bess, You Is My Woman Now rejected
tk.14 Squeeze Me Blue Note BLP 4100
tk.16 Lulu's Back In Town Blue Note 45-1852, BLP 4100

* Blue Note BLP 4100, BST 84100   Jimmy Smith Plays Fats Waller   1962
* Blue Note 45-1851   Jimmy Smith - Everybody Loves My Baby / Ain't She Sweet   1962
* Blue Note 45-1852   Jimmy Smith - Honeysuckle Rose / Lulu's Back In Town   1962

This is not a normal Smith session, with horns, or trio letting it rip. It is a laid-back session of tunes reflecting the style of Fats Waller. Fittlingly, everything is in 2/2, at slow to medium tempos. Jimmy uses what I call the belch setting on the B3, which I dislike, but the album has a nice, relaxed vibe to it and is quite enjoyable. There are no guitar solos.

Of the tunes, "Ain't Misbehavin' ", "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Squeeze Me" were composed by Waller, "Everybody Loves My Baby" was composed by Fats's friend, Spencer Williams, and recorded by Fats in 1940. "Ain't She Sweet" has no connection with Fats. "I've Found A New Baby" was composed by Spencer Williams but never recorded by Fats. "Lulu's Back In Town" was not composed by Waller, but was recorded by him on May 8, 1935.

Altogether, well worth a listen.
 

Edited by Shrdlu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that for me, this one ties with Plays Pretty Just for You for last on the Jimmy Smith BN playlist. I wouldn't say terrible, just not a favorite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shrdlu said:

Fittlingly, everything is in 2/2, at slow to medium tempos.

The main attraction of this album for me. When the mood strikes it's a great listen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had it a few times over the years but could never connect with it. Oddly all the copies I had were mono and I don't think I've ever seen a stereo pressing though it probably exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Dan, this is not the top Smith album.

I played it a few times while I was working in the kitchen. Its vibe kinda grew on me.

But there is nothing to compare with "The Preacher" at the Wilmington, DE date, or the classic sessions with Stanley Turrentine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

This is not a normal Smith session, with horns, or trio letting it rip. It is a laid-back session of tunes reflecting the style of Fats Waller. Fittingly, everything is in 2/2, at slow to medium tempos. Jimmy uses what I call the belch setting on the B3, which I dislike, but the album has a nice, relaxed vibe to it and is quite enjoyable. There are no guitar solos.

Great to find out that there are technical reasons why I just don't like this date. :) :)

Now if you could just do the same for Green's "Am I Blue".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

No, Dan, this is not the top Smith album.

 

Nope, and it's not a middling Smith album either. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting change of pace, and pairs well with Plays Pretty For You since that one has Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" on it.  Not great, but nice enough if you take it for what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

Nope, and it's not a middling Smith album either. :P

+1, yet it's a classic period BN, so there it sits on my shelves...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re Grant Green's "Am I Blue", I am a big fan of the participants, but this a dull and boring album, mostly at a slow tempo. It was not worth releasing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love GG's "Am I Blue."  Think of it as having been released on Prestige's Moodsville label.  But I agree that "JOS Plays Fats Waller" is a negligible date.  Much too polite, which is funny considering Waller's oeuvre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, bresna said:

Great to find out that there are technical reasons why I just don't like this date. :) :)

Now if you could just do the same for Green's "Am I Blue".

Jimmy's squabbling setting is what Shrdlu refers to as the "belch" it's the first and last five drawbars pulled out with the tremolo on... it's a really cool sound, and Jimmy's technique was the old school way really stretching his hand to play octaves and other intervals. I love this album honestly, always have since I first got it as a crappy Applause pressing at a flea market when I was 6.  It's just a nice, chill, mellow album for late at night. The Jimmy session I find (though I'll still get it to complete my Jimmy Smith collection rebuild eventually that should have stayed in the can) was Straight Life. That session just doesn't really work, especially coming off something as hot as Crazy! Baby

Edited by CJ Shearn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prompted by Dan's remark, I dug out "Plays Pretty, Just For You". It has only appeared on CD in Japan (TOCJ-1553 and a few later ones). There wasn't enough room on the LP for "Somebody Loves Me", which Michael Cuscuna put on the "Cherokee" CD (again, Japan only, TOCJ-1612). I made up a CD with everything in session order.

The audio is good, of course. This album is a bit less polite than the Waller one. It has a few guitar segments. "Somebody Loves Me" cooks a bit, but the rest of the session is chilled out, and easy listening.

Definitely not the best of Jimmy Smith for the jazz enthusiast. I won't be spinning this often.

Edited by Shrdlu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shrdlu said:

Prompted by Dan's remark, I dug out "Plays Pretty, Just For You". It has only appeared on CD in Japan (TOCJ-1553 and a few later ones). There wasn't enough room on the LP for "Somebody Loves Me", which Michael Cuscuna put on the "Cherokee" CD (again, Japan only, TOCJ-1612). I made up a CD with everything in session order.

The audio is good, of course. This album is a bit less polite than the Waller one. It has a few guitar segments. "Somebody Loves Me" cooks a bit, but the rest of the session is chilled out, and easy listening.

Definitely not the best of Jimmy Smith for the jazz enthusiast. I won't be spinning this often.

That one I need to rebuy as well 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the details of the session with contents issued by Michael Cuscuna in the Japanese 1600 CD series as "Cherokee".

Jimmy Smith, organ; Eddie McFadden, guitar; Donald Bailey, drums.

Manhattan Towers, NYC, July 3, 1957

tk.3 What Is This Thing Called Love  
tk.6 On The Sunny Side Of The Street  
tk.8 Laura  
tk.14 I'm In The Mood For Love -
tk.15 Things Ain't What They Used To Be -
tk.16 Cherokee  

All tracks on Blue Note (J) TOCJ-1612   Jimmy Smith - Cherokee  (1996)

I don't think this material has been made available elsewhere. As mentioned earlier, the CD contains the stray track "Somebody Loves Me", from the May 8, 1957 session.

This is a pretty lively session for the most part, and likely to appeal to most Smith fans. The snag is the cost of the CD. It should have been issued in the U.S. RVG series in the late 1990s/early 2000s. I guess they were too busy to fit it into the schedule. There were so many albums being issued back then.

Edited by Shrdlu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that. Do they also have "Lonesome Road"? That, also, was only issued on CD in the 1600 series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder how these Apples and Amazons got their hands on this music. It must be derived from the 1600 series CDs. I doubt that they would have access to the Blue Note vaults. Besides, the Amazon listings show the 1600 covers.

Amazon says that "Cherokee" is available, but "Lonesome Road" is not. I don't know why an mp3 download would cease to be available. Maybe there was a time limit imposed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UMG licenses them out to these streaming platforms since they own the BN label. It's not easy to figure out which mastering they're using unless it explicitly states it such as RVG, etc. So with these, it's probably whatever the last digital mastering was. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

Amazon says that "Cherokee" is available, but "Lonesome Road" is not. I don't know why an mp3 download would cease to be available. Maybe there was a time limit imposed.

I just downloaded "Lonesome Road."

Could this be the reason you couldn't download when you tried?  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10313465/Amazon-Web-Services-Latest-outage-comes-just-days-disruption.html

Edited by mjzee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't try to download from Amazon. I have the 1600 series CDs of "Cherokee" and "Lonesome Road". I just clicked on your link to see what is going on. However, I am delighted that Netflix and Amazon crashed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not even close to a favorite. Had a copy and disposed of it long ago. There are so many Jimmy Smith albums that I do like a lot, but not this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find Fats own organ recordings, both the electric and (especially) the pipe organ sides, much much more interesting that this JOS semi-tribute recording.  Like others, I found it rather lifeless and much too "polite" compared to Jimmy's other records of the time and have hardly ever played it.  I've always assumed it was recorded as an effort to expand JOS's audience and in search of an album hit like the (much better) 'Satch Plays Fats' Louis Armstrong Columbia album of several years earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.