Friday, February 11, 2005

Jimmy Smith - RIP

Sad news, Jimmy Smith died yesterday (10th February) at the age of 79. I have been a big fan of Jimmy Smith since nicking a compilation of his stuff from my Dad when I was a kid. I went to see him at the Jazz Cafe a few years ago and he blew me away. Whilst looking for material to include here, I chanced upon this exert from Bill Milkowski's Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries on the Funk 45 Forum. The man was a legend.

I know you got into some kind of karate.

Yeah, for 25 years now.

I've seen your album Respect , where you got your kung fu robe on the cover.

Not kung fu, motherfucker. That's shotokan. And that means sho-kill-yo'-ass. I studied that particular method. Shotokan is when you go to the diaphragm and pull out the fucking food, show him what he ate for dinner, you understand? And I mean that shit. Go in there, pull them fuckin' greens out, put 'em right in his face and watch him faint. You know what I mean?

Yeah, that would come in handy on the subway.

Hey man, shit, you don't need no damn gun. Pull them fucking intestines out...and they be movin', you know, like worms. That shit be running all over my damn hand.

On Elvin Jones

Elvin's too ugly to look old. That's an ugly man. You know what happened, when we first met it was Haight-Ashbury in Frisco, and man...I was off on Monday...I was playing at the Jazz Workshop and he was playing at the Blackhawk. So anyway, I wasn't working on this Monday and he was on. So I walk in the door to catch Elvin's gig and the guy says, "Jimmy Smith, come on in! Elvin Jones is here, man. I hope you guys can hook up tonight, man." And here comes Elvin, "Hey, man, we're gonna get into something tonight, OK?" I said, "What? I ain't never played witch you, man." So he just grabbed me, and he's strong anyway...I had to put all my little karate shit on his ass. I grabbed his dick. He say, "Turn my dick loose, motherfucker." I say, "Man, don't fool with me, boy." Everybody say, "Jimmy Smith is crazy, don't fool with him." 'Specially when I'm not playing...and I'm 'off,' I'm really off. It's what the black people call you. It's not's o-f...they say, "The nigger's o-f." That's from the South. Say that. It sounds good. It's got a ring to it. So anyway, we play. Elvin broke the sock cymbal right off, man. He done broke that sucker, 'cause he's so strong, man. And when we got done, I was soaked, he was soaked, our socks were wet. I'm serious, Bill. Our socks were soaking wet. I messed that suit know, all that salt you get from sweating. You ever see a musician with those white armpits? These motherfuckers with all that salt beadin' their ass up? Just like race horses? Exactly.

For a more sober look at the life and times of a legend try these:

  • BBC

  • The Guardian
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