Jimmy Smith's recent passing has caused me to listen to my entire collection of his albums, finding new respect for each one, for varying reasons. "The Boss," a 1968 live recording from Atlanta, Georgia, is harder to find than its counterpart, the more funky and rocked out "Root Down," but equally impressive.
"The Boss" finds Jimmy Smith backed by a bare-bones lineup (just guitar and drums), but the musicianship is top-notch. Jimmy's playing is more psychadelic and wild than his studio stuff from the late 1960s, hinting towards where his sound was headed in the early 1970s (as well as the sound of mainstream music, in general).
If there's one complaint about the album, it's that the songs simply fade out at the end before the players have finished, leaving me wondering how much of each song was cut off and left out. This also takes away from the whole "live" feel, making it difficult to completely lose yourself in this performance. Still, this flaw does not take away from the musical talent being displayed. This is a great companion to anyone looking to expand their Jimmy Smith (or simply jazz) library.