Down Beat - p.764 stars out of 5
-- "Saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is heard as the perfect front-line complement to Smith's organ."
Personnel: Jimmy Smith (organ); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Donald Bailey (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 25, 1960. Includes liner notes by Del Shields.
Personnel: Jimmy Smith (organ); Jimmy Allen Smith (organ); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Donald Bailey (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Del Shields; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (04/25/1960).
Photographer: Francis Wolff.
The name Jimmy Smith is practically synonymous with jazz organ, and albums such as MIDNIGHT SPECIAL are part of the reason. Of course, there is Smith's legendary gospel- and blues-rooted style and brilliant bebop chops, present on SPECIAL in ample doses. Also, one could not ask for a better band: Donald Bailey, one of Smith's regular drummers; Kenny Burrell on guitar; and Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax. As great as Smith is, it's Turrentine's lusciously rich tenor tone and big bluesy honks that makes MIDNIGHT SPECIAL such a true joy. (Burrell's burr, elegant guitar isn't too shabby either.) In the end, this album is simply a party waiting to happen, for fans of Smith and soul-jazz alike.