For Jimmy: Premiere Performance
Andy Weis Presents the Monterey All-Stars
About For Jimmy
We were all honored to perform the premier performance of David “Dasher” Kempton’s original tune “For Jimmy”. This tune came out of pure sense of loss of a giant voice in jazz organ. Dasher was driving home from a gig and heard on the radio that Jimmy Smith had passed away. When he got home the 1st thing he did was sit down and write this tune. It’s totally in the late 50’s style of Smiths collaborations with Donald Byrd, Eddie McFaddin, Hank Mobley and Art Blakey. It was easy for us to get into that zone with the way Dasher created the song form, melody and voicings in the horns.
Everyone plays great here and Dasher (with his tour de force Hammond B3 solo) shows a reverence for Jimmy Smith while at the same time maintaining his own substantial musical identity. No easy feat. Steve Ezzo on guitar always plays the perfect accompaniment for any song he plays. His solo here is outstanding. He’s a great musician. Same goes for Paul Tarantino and Brian Stock. We all had a lot of fun on this song. Oh and…in case you were wondering…Dasher is also playing bass with his feet.
Andy has got most of it exactly right, but I have to reveal the dirty little secret of most jazz organists (actually, I already have talked about it, see The Bass Line) The majority of jazz organists play the bass line with their left hand, unless the song is a ballad, in which case we do frequently play pedal bass with left hand accompaniment. At any tempo below slow, the pedals are played by tapping lightly and smartly with the foot, resulting in a percussive bass chiff, a thump that adds punch to the note, and helps drive the groove. Jimmy Smith, McGriff, MacDuff, all played this way. The only jazz organists I am aware of that play mainstream jazz and play totally foot bass are all women: Barbara Dennerlien, Trudy Pitt and Rhoda Scott, all absolutely stunning and great artists (hear Barbara and Trudy together here)
- Paul Tarantino: Bari Sax
- Brian Stock: Fluegelhorn
- David ‘Dasher’ Kempton: Hammond B3
- Steve Ezzo: Guitar
- Andy Weis: Drums