Johnny Smith: Some Of These Days
Some Of These Days
Johnny Smith (guitar)
The Complete Roost Small Group Sessions (Mosaic 216)
Johnny Smith (guitar),
Bob Pancoast (piano), George Roumanis (bass), Mousie Alexander (drums).
Composed by Shelton Brooks.
Recorded: New York, early 1960
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Starting with an introduction over a pedal point, Johnny Smith’s take-no-prisoners version of “Some Of These Days” is an excellent primer to the guitarist’s work. Smith could say a lot in a short time, and although this performance is here and gone in two-and-a-half minutes, it sounds complete and satisfying. Smith stays close to the melody for most of the opening chorus and then launches into a fleet-fingered solo comprised mostly of single lines. His opening phrases are simple 4-bar ideas, but starting in the second eight his phrases expand and motives from early in the phrase are developed later in the same thought. Pancoast takes over for a quick Peterson-esque chorus, and then Smith returns with the melody, this time played in chords, but not in parallel block chords. Indeed, the independent movement of the inner voices in chorded passages was one of the hallmarks of Smith’s style. It is also one of the many reasons why he is still considered a guitar giant more than a decade after he set the instrument down for the last time. The Mosaic set above has brought Smith’s playing to the attention of the jazz public, but for guitar players, Smith was always a master.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe