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June 1997

Jimmy Smith
The Master II
Blue Note Records

This album is the second volume of material from concerts by the Jimmy Smith trio at Kirin Plaza in Osaka, Japan in December 1993, now being released on Blue Note in America. The trio includes veteran accompanists Kenny Burrell on guitar and Jimmie Smith (no relation) at the drums.

The program includes all standards from the repertory, featuring the by now classic Thad Jones ballad "A Child is Born" and the blues "Stormy Monday." Jimmy Smith swings with pulsating heft, and Kenny Burrell plays his usual charmingly crafted, intelligent solos.

The album is quite appropriately entitled "The Master," for Smith is indeed the pioneering master of the B-3 (as Burrell is also a master at the guitar). The music here is surely masterful, a recap of a 40-year career at the organ, but there is nothing memorable that makes this CD stand out from any of the innumerable recordings made over the years, which I would also recommend.

Originally published in June 1997
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