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It's a testament to Jimmy Smith's volcanic creativity that the Hammond B3 organ firebrand recorded not one but two soul jazz classics - Midnight Special and Back at the Chicken Shack - in a single day when he entered Van Gelder Studio on April 25, 1960 with Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and Donald Bailey on drums. Smith had been a self-taught pianist before abandoning the instrument in 1954 in favor of the organ, renting a Philadelphia warehouse, and woodshedding for a year until he emerged with a revolutionary style that immediately caught the ear Alfred Lion. The Blue Note boss dubbed him The Incredible Jimmy Smith and recorded the B3 innovator as frequently as he could between 1956-1963.
Midnight Special opens with the soulful title track which chugs along at a laid-back pace giving ample space for Smith, Turrentine, and Burrell to state their case. Other highlights of the set include the up-tempo burner "Jumpin' the Blues" and a deeply felt ballad performance of the standard "Why Was I Born?" This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is stereo, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series