Friday, August 22, 2008

Jimmy Smith - Confirmation (1958)

Organist Jimmy Smith led a series of exciting jam sessions for Blue Note from 1957-1960, including the three selections heard on this LP. These performances were not released for the first time until 1979, but their quality is as strong as Smith’s other output from the era. “Confirmation” matches Smith with altoist Lou Donaldson, tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, trumpeter Lee Morgan, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and drummer Art Blakey, while a 15-minute rendition of “What Is This Thing Called Love” and a 20-minute “Cherokee” have Morgan, Burrell, Blakey, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and George Coleman on alto. The heated solos are quite enjoyable, and the organist keeps the momentum constantly flowing throughout this infectious set.

This swinging ensemble set was not given a release until 1979, such was the volume and quality of work laid down by Jimmy in his time at Blue Note in the ’50s. It’s a pleasing set of extended pieces that give all participants a decent chance to solo. No one player grabs the spotlight, even Jimmy who was ostensibly the name on the session. Cherokee, the tune that comprises the entirety of the second side, is taken as a frantic pace that never lets up for the whole duration. Jimmy is on his best form on this piece.


Jimmy Smith (organ)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Lou Donaldson (alto sax, track 2)
George Coleman (alto sax, tracks 1 & 3)
Tina Brooks (tenor sax, track 2)
Curtis Fuller (trombone, tracks 1 & 3)
Art Blakey (drums)


1. What Is This Thing Called Love (15:13)
2. Confirmation (10:31)
3. Cherokee (20:20)

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