Jimmie Smith --- R.I.P.

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by Robert Rowe, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    Today, we mourn the passing of a giant in our music world. Jimmie Smith, age 79, died today at his home in Phoenix, AR. Smith practically invented, or pioneered the organ as a jazz instrument. His innovative use of the Hammond B3 and Leslie revolving-speaker tone cabinet put an endelible stamp on the modern sound of jazz, beginning in the mid-1950's. He put out 12 fine albums on the "Blue Note" label; and up until recent years, when he was supplanted by Philadelphia's Joey DeFrancesco, dominated his category in jazz polls. Smith "wrote the book" on jazz organ. As a keyboard "doubler" myself, I, along with hundreds of other keyboardists, was constantly trying to "cop" Smith's unique sound. Knowing this, and wanting to protect his "secret" draw-bar tone settings, Smith would place a towel strategically over the draw-bars on his B3. Not only was his sound unique, his "chops" on the keyboards were monstrous, including the very difficult bass pedals, which he used for "walking" bass-lines.

    Jimmie, we're gonna miss you ....

    ***As an interesting side-note, Miles Davis hired the above mentioned Joey DeFrancesco, over the phone, as a teen-aged sideman. Joey was/is a pretty decent trumpet player, also, and Davis gave DeFrancesco one of his prized Martin Committee trumpets, which he sometimes plays in his own shows today.

    Robert Rowe
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    He was awesome!
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    WKCR-FM is playing a round the clock tribute to Jimmy.



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