Jump to content

drummer Jimmie Smith

CJ Shearn

Recommended Posts

I know he lives in Japan these days...

I found this:

Also reigning from behind his impressive array of drums and cymbals, we find massive Jimmie Smith, a powerhouse of drive and a great time-keeper along with the dynamics. When he's not out at Tokyo Disneyland drumming as a regular with the fine band out there, he can be found in any number of jazz venues, playing with everyone and anyone, a this-drum-for-hire free lancer who stays constantly busy.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, James Howard Smith studied at the Germansky School for Drummers and later at the Julliard School. In New York, he recorded with such top-flight dudes as Pony Poindexter, Jimmy Witherspoon and Gildo Mahones; performed and recorded with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, appearing with those vocalese wonders at the famed Newport Jazz Festival.

He toured and recorded with Erroll Garner, Benny Carter, Bill Henderson, Hank Jones and Harry (Sweets) Edison. He later recorded with Sweets and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, played behind Zoot Sims at the Montreaux International Jazz Festival.

Jimmie recorded with Sonny Criss, Lorez Alexandria and The Great Guitars (Barney Kessell, Herb Ellis) and a group led by Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Jimmie "has been much sought after as a sideman owing to his clear, crisp sound and his reliable sense of swing."

If you'd like to run into the affable, outgoing Jimmy Smith, maybe you should fall by his own saloon, Lupin, located in Roppongi. Tel: 3403-9828. He'll make you at home.

Edited by marcello
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer were doing a short promo tour for the Eighty - Eights label in Japan, the record company put them together with a Japanese bass player and drummer. When after one date they asked the label to send those musicians home, Eighty - Eights brought in a different Japanese bass player and Jimmie Smith.

It was cool for a short while but after a couple more dates they sent them home and continued as a duo.

If you check out this video, you'll see that they didn't need anyone else:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

another strange Jimmy(ie) Smith, lol. I'm sure he and Jimmy got along great. I've heard JOS was quite a drinker. What was strange about him, Valerie?

i think both Jimmy Smiths indulged in other stuff as well!! probably brought out strange aspects of their personalities is my guess!

Edited by ValerieB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i met him a couple of times socially, probably during the '80s in L.A. during that time, he had already spent a lot of time in Japan. must say he was rather strange!!

Where in LA? What happened

i'm not getting into any more details other than i did in a previous post but it was at a club and at a friend's home. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smith plays regularly in Japan with Yoshio Toyama, the "Japanese Satchmo." Toyama brought his entire band to the Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans this past August, all local Japanese musicians and Smith. I saw him at an outdoor birthday party for Armstrong, playing just snare drum, as he backed a duo of Toyama and Kermit Ruffins. Smith sounded right at home, playing some very authentic snare, though he even sounded better on his full kit as the festival featured Toyama's group, The Dixie Saints, twice. He swung his ass off on tunes like "Bye and Bye," "Chinatown" and "The Saints," material I don't think he really played before he went to Japan. I had no idea it was even him at first but he looked good and sounded great. If anyone has any specific questions, I keep in touch frequently with Toyama via e-mail and could send along any questions or comments.

Ricky Riccardi


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...

I'm new to the forum but excited about the incredible knowledge of the collective. Does anyone know if Jimmie Smith, is the one who played drums on The Perfect Circle - The Perfect Circle album? There is allot of Jazz influence in the tracks which were produced and directed by my late Father George Semper (1/1/42-1/9/2009). Unfortunately, not allot is known about the band. Thanks! Discog is here https://www.discogs.com/Perfect-Circle-The-Perfect-Circle/release/7408302

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking into account that Jimmy Smith is a fairly common name and comparing the session with what else drummer Jimmie Smith was doing around 1977, I'd consider it rather unlikely:

- he was mostly playing mainstream jazz around the time (Milt Jackson, Illinois Jacquet, Phineas Newborn, and he seemed busy doing that

- on pretty much any album he appeared on, there are some other famous jazz names, but not here

- percussion + lead vocals (while someone else is drumming) would be an usual credit for him


Here's a photograph (from much later) which you may compare to the cover of A Perfect Circle



Edited by Niko
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you soo much for that. Man, I can't find the "Jimmy Smith" I'm looking for. My Father was a "#1 Shooter" and those are the only cats he played with so...can't be the Jimmy Smith ~ Hammond Hero. My Father had a record label with Jimmy Smith in later years (the Organist) and knew him for many years.

What's crazy is this "Jimmy Smith ~ Drummer" is on at least 2 releases so for now I'm lost {8-o

But again many thanks and will report back IF and when I'm successful. My Father co-owned San Diego's Jazzville back in the day and booked everyone from Miles, to Brubeck...in fact Frank Zappa's first performing gig (opening for Little Richard at Jazzville) my Father booked him!

Again many thanks!

About George - https://www.discogs.com/artist/282008-George-Semper?filter_anv=0&type=Credits

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked through the line-up carefully this morning, the only other player that could be traced reliablly is sax player Dave Parnell


the other two sessions that are assigned to "Jimmy Smith (3)" on discogs (McGriff and Lambert, Hendricks Bavan) are almost certainly wrong and belong to "Jimmie Smith".

Do you know who played on your father's Imperial album (Makin' Waves)... I listened a bit this morning and really liked it ? That information seems to be lost to history at present

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really strange stories about him. Heard him on so many of those live albums Montreux 77 that I almost forgot to be aware about him. Strange that he played with all those who had top billing (Diz and all of them) just to become relativley obscure.

Well, Japan must be a heaven for jazz traditionalists, they seem to have their Satch, their Bird, everything. And not forget all the reissues, they seem to love that music so it must be heaven for jazz musicians and jazz lovers to be their.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...