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iTunes Review

The union between Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith finally occurred 1966 with the release of Jimmy & Wes: The Dynamic Duo. The pair appears to challenge each other on the opening track, a boisterous rendition of “Down By the Riverside” propelled by Oliver Nelson’s orchestra. After Smith somersaults through a dizzying cascade of organ runs, Montgomery responds by pulling out every trick he knows, jumping and sliding across the guitar neck like an Olympian roused from retirement. Following this apparent proving session (and a somewhat superfluous run through “Night Train”), the album settles into the rich, quiet groove of “James and Wes.” It is in this sleek mode that the pair finds its chemistry. The late-night mood culminates with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which heralds Christmas from a corner bar stool. The album centerpiece, however, is “13 (Death March),” in which Nelson’s orchestra aids rather than overpowers, and a trifecta of bassists — Paul Chambers, Richard Davis and Ron Carter — provides the subterranean hum over which Smith and Montgomery sing to high heaven.

Customer Reviews

The Dynamic Duo

I wore this vinyl album out several years ago, and am so glad it's available in download. The version of "Night Train" is the best rendition of this song I have ever heard!


Down by the riverside blows you away. these are two legends for their sound. Jazz guitar and guitar will never be the same. Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery both influenced Coltrane. These guys are legends.

Deuces Wild

Two great artists meet in their prime. I, too, wore out my vinyl LP and am estatic to find this "lost" treasure. Pour yourself a beverage, kick back and listen at the end of the day. You will find the strength to go on tomorrow!


Born: December 8, 1928 in Norristown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Jimmy Smith wasn't the first organ player in jazz, but no one had a greater influence with the instrument than he did; Smith coaxed a rich, grooving tone from the Hammond B-3, and his sound and style made him a top instrumentalist in the 1950s and '60s, while a number of rock and R&B keyboardists would learn valuable lessons from Smith's example. James Oscar Smith was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on December 8, 1928 (some sources cite his birth year as 1925). Smith's father was a musician and...
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