Jimmy Smith

It's Necessary

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Although he still won popularity polls and remained a household name in the jazz world, the end of organist Jimmy Smith's long period with Verve in 1972 kept him in relative obscurity until he re-emerged on the Elektra Musician label in 1982. This live album, recorded at Smith's short-lived North Hollywood supper club, finds the great organist and his quartet (with guitarist Ray Crawford) welcoming such guests as tenors Teddy Edwards and Harold Land and trumpeter Blue Mitchell. The material is decent ("Red Top" and "Sometimes I'm Happy" are stronger than the recent originals) and the recording quality is decent, if not state-of-the-art. Superior to his other, more commercial sets of the period, this reasonably enjoyable LP does not measure up to the excitement level of Smith's earlier, classic Blue Note sessions, but is worth picking up by his fans.