Personnel: Jimmy Smith (vocals, organ); Melba Moorman, Carline Ray, Eileen Gilbert (vocals); Phil Upchurch, Carl Lynch (guitar); Hubert Laws, Jerome Richardson, Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams (reeds); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Ernie Royal, Joe Newman , Snooky Young (trumpet); Garnett Brown, Jimmy Cleveland, Alan Raph (trombone); James Tyrell, Jimmy Meritt (bass instrument); Grady Tate (drums); Johnny Pacheco (percussion).
Arranger: Tom McIntosh.
Given its overtly wacky album photos--featuring the artist striking acrobatic poses in a white jumpsuit and helmet--listeners might think that 1968's STAY LOOSE...JIMMY SMITH SINGS AGAIN is a novelty record. The only novelty here, however, is the greater vocal presence of the revered organ player, who usually released instrumental (or mostly instrumental) discs. Smith, in fact, lends his wonderfully gritty vocals to four of the album's seven tracks.
The bluesy opener, "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," starts off with horn fanfare that gives way to Smith's raspy singing and simmering organ lines. Other vocal tracks include the energetic, funk-fueled Smith original "Stay Loose" and a shuffling, inventive take on "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby." Throughout the record, drummer Grady Tate masterfully anchors the proceedings, with tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine lending his deep, soulful playing to three tracks. Of these, "Chain of Fools" is an album highlight, and, with its urgent soul-jazz vibe, one of the finest renditions of the Don Covay classic. Of course, Smith's entrancing Hammond work is still the main attraction here, and it's nowhere better showcased than on the Smith/Turrentine-penned closer, "Grabbin' Hold," an extended jam that features brilliant interplay between the two stellar musicians.