Smith, Jimmy: Home Cookin' (Blue Note Classic Series) LP
Blue Note Records has announced the continuation of the Classic Vinyl Reissue Series which presents 180g vinyl LP reissues in standard packaging mastered by Kevin Gray and manufactured at Optimal. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes. While the first 16 titles of the series focused on the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, the new run of titles curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman broadens its scope to span the many eras and styles of the legendary label's eight-decade history presented by themes: Bebop, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz, Post-Bop, Avant-Garde, The 70s, The Rebirth, and Hidden Gems. The Incredible Jimmy Smith was a self-taught keyboard virtuoso who gave up the piano in 1954 in favor of the Hammond B3 organ, setting up shop in a warehouse in Philadelphia and woodshedding for a year before emerging with a revolutionary approach to the instrument that immediately caught the ear Alfred Lion. The Blue Note founder recorded the B3 innovator as often as he could between 1956-1963 in a range of different settings and released a tremendous run of albums that laid the foundation for the soul jazz movement. Drawn from three different sessions recorded in 1958-1959, Home Cookin' featured Smith in a quartet with tenor saxophonist Percy France, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and drummer Donald Bailey, and it stands as one of the most deeply soulful albums Smith ever made. The band gives a soul jazz symposium on this seven-song set that includes covers of tunes by Ma Rainey, Ray Charles, and Jimmy McGriff along with originals by Smith and Burrell.