Al Smith

As a rule, people who appreciate the late Jimmy Witherspoon have a very favorable reaction to Al Smith -- that is, if they get a chance to hear him. Neither of the two albums that Smith provided for Bluesville (Hear My Blues in 1959 and Midnight Special in 1960) are well-known. While Witherspoon was a big name in the blues world, Smith was a gospel singer who dabbled in secular music. But when Smith did venture outside the gospel realm, his approach was quite comparable to Witherspoon's, he favored a jazz-influenced approach to blues and R&B. Smith, in fact, is backed by hard-swinging jazz musicians on Midnight Special, including tenor titan Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, organist Shirley Scott, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Arthur Edgehill. Davis and Scott were both well aware of the power of the blues, and they were perfect for a jazz-minded bluesman like Smith -- who soars on...

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Albums featuring Al Smith

1 record