Jimmy Smith: Open House
Jimmy Smith (organ)
Open House / Plain Talk (Blue Note 84269)
Quentin Warren (guitar), Donald Bailey (drums).
Composed by Jimmy Smith.
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 22, 1960
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
For this extended blowing session, Rudy Van Gelder opened his house to Jimmy Smith's core trio and a formidable front line of soloists. Each horn man is given ample space to stretch out in this 16-minute blues opus, and the results are thoroughly engaging across the board. Blue Mitchell exhibits his crystal-clear warm tone and reminds us exactly why he was given his nickname. Jackie McLean's Bird-influenced choruses are splendidly constructed, and Ike Quebec, gruff and rough, is all blues all the time. Drummer Bailey's shuffling swing and Smith's full-bodied organ and walking bass inspire each soloist without overshadowing them (as the organist was occasionally known to do on blowing dates). The intensity peaks when guitarist Quentin Warren chimes in, adding some R&B-influenced comping behind Smith's climactic solo (note their call and response at 13:29 and Warren really digging in at 14:00). A fun and groovy straight-ahead track, "Open House" is one of Blue Note's best blowing sessions.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic