Jabbo Smith: More Rain, More Rest


More Rain, More Rest


Jabbo Smith (trumpet, vocal)


1929-1938 (Classics 669)

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Jabbo Smith (trumpet, vocal),

Leslie Johnakins, Ben Smith (alto saxes), Sam Simmons (tenor sax), Jimmy Reynolds (piano), Connie Wainwright (guitar), Elmer James (bass), Alfred Taylor (drums)


Composed by Jabbo Smith & J. Mayo Williams


Recorded: New York, February 1, 1938


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

In the late 1920s, Jabbo Smith was Louis Armstrong's chief rival and arguably the hottest trumpeter around. He recorded with Duke Ellington in 1927, and his exhilarating 1929 Rhythm Aces recordings were a dazzling display of his one-of-a-kind scorching style. After he all but disappeared in the 1930s, he reemerged with an 8-piece orchestra in 1938 playing and singing on four sides for Decca. His playing no longer singes the tips of your socks as he knocks them off of your feet, but these sides are as significant as his earlier burners. On "More Rain, More Rest" he shows flashes of the risky, high-register improvising that defined his playing a decade earlier, but the contrast of his mellower melodicism is refreshing. The mature Jabbo has a greater control over his trumpet, a more sensitive use of dynamics and lyricism, and swings more gently than he did in his brash youth.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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