Jimmy Smith: Walk on the Wild Side


Walk on the Wild Side


Jimmy Smith (organ)


Bashin': The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith (Polygram 539061)

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Jimmy Smith (organ), Joe Newman (trumpet), Ernie Royal (trumpet), Doc Severinsen (trumpet), Joe Wilder (trumpet), Jimmy Cleveland (trombone), Urbie Green (trombone), Britt Woodman (trombone), Tom Mitchell (trombone), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax), Phil Woods (alto sax), George Barrow (baritone sax), George Duvivier (bass), Ed Shaughnessy (drums),

Bob Ashton, Arthur “Babe” Clarke (tenor sax); Barry Galbraith (guitar)


Composed by Elmer Bernstein. Arranged by Oliver Nelson


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., March 28, 1962


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Unrelated to rocker Lou Reed's raunchy 1972 hit of the same name, Jimmy Smith's cover of Elmer Bernstein's movie theme from Walk on the Wild Side (1962) was a smash in both single and album incarnations. Oliver Nelson's swaggering arrangement—once past a bewildering sleigh-bell intro—seduces us with the seedy allure of forbidden fruit minus the consequences. Smith doesn't enter until midway, but from that point on it's dynamite. This track made Jimmy Smith an overnight sensation after years of schlepping his Hammond B-3 around the Chitlin’ Circuit in a secondhand hearse. Good things come to those who wail.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 Jubill // Jan 30, 2008 at 11:25 PM