Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Genius at work

I had the distinct pleasure of watching a genius during my day off yesterday.
I watched "FRANCE 1969," a DVD of two French television broadcasts by JIMMY SMITH.

A soul-jazz pioneer, aficionados view what Smith did with the HAMMOND B3 ORGAN similarly to what Jimi Hendrix did for the electric guitar.

Smith took a previously church-bound instrument and made it swing like the jazziest horn player.

On the DVD, Smith performs in a trio setting with guitarist EDDIE McFADDEN and drummer CHARLES CROSBY.

Those two guys are good, but the real revelation is watching Smith. His hands flutter, crash, stab and dance across the top and bottom keyboards of the B3. At times, Smith seems to twist his arms in knots as he plays. Meanwhile, he is modulating the sounds and providing his trio with a bass by manipulating the various pedals at his feet.

It's amazing to watch Smith play with both hands and both feet simultaneously. I'm one of those people who can't even rub my stomach and pat my head at the same time!

Smith was a true genius, easily recognized after watching him perform in concert.


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