Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Theme from "Any Number Can Win"

Theme from "Any Number Can Win"

from Verve V-8552, 'Any Number Can Win'

Recorded July 1963

I was going to review this whole album. The title track has been running around my head all day, but on listening to it I was slightly underwhelmed by pretty much all but the lead track - so that's what I'll be focussing on. The sad thing is that this looks like a great album - slightly cheesy, maybe - with a front cover featuring lovely ladies from around the world and a rear sleeve featuring Jimmy lounging in the driver's seat of an E-type Jag. I wonder what that's all about?

This was one of Jimmy's earliest big-band sessions on the Verve label and features several different bands with the common denominator of Jimmy on organ and Kenny Burrell on guitar. Burrell is a crucial part of this short, sharp, yet exciting track. Unlike some of the Verve big band sessions, this one doesn't have Oliver Nelson arrangements, and it suffers for it a bit. 'Theme from...' has a smaller band so probably doesn't suffer from poor arranging quite so badly.

The track itself is based around Burrell's infectious guitar 'riff' (if you can call a single-note picked theme a riff) accompanied by Jimmy comping on the organ in a cheery-sounding major scale. It's this comping that is the heart and soul of the piece - the whole thing just sounds so up, so happy, that all it can do is light up your day. Some say that the best thing to listen to on a bad day is the blues (tried it, bad idea), but i'd say you should get this out and soak your troubles away the Jimmy way. The rest of the track is punctuated by short solos from Jimmy featuring his trademark trilling, as well as a hefty dose of down and dirty organ grinding. Basically it's a great track and the highlight of a slightly disappointing LP.

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