Bobby Timmons: This Here.
From This Here Is Bobby Timmons (Riverside 1960)
Bobby Timmons: Tom Thumb
From The Soul Man! (Prestige 1966)
Bobby Timmons is one of those jazz men whose legacy has been better remembered for his compositions rather than him as a player or band leader. Cannonball Adderley minted huge hits off of his compositions “Moanin'” and “This Here” and “Dat There” ended up in the hands of Oscar Brown Jr (and, as it were, Rikki Lee Jones some 20 years after his death). I am no Bobby Timmons expert but what I’ve heard from the man himself, I really, really like.
This Here Is Bobby Timmons is a solid intro to his compositional talents since it contains most of his best-known songs, including the ones mentioned above plus covers of Strayhorn’s “Lush Life,” Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” and Hart and Roger’s “My Funny Valentine.” My favorite song off this is “This Here.” It begins with a quiet charm with Timmons swinging on piano, accompanied by Sam Jones on the bass and Jimmy Cobb on sticks. When it hits the bridges though, all rhythm stops and Timmons comes dancing in with a beautiful melodic line that gets me giddy everytime I hear it.
The Soul Man! isn’t nearly as consistent but it does feature the delicious “Tom Thumb,” a Wayne Shorter tune with saxophonist wailing his heart out. This is a smooth, slick dance number – nothing you’d mash out to but super slinky and sexy (lot of “s” words come to mind for some reason). It’s a longer song – about six minutes – but I never get bored for an instant grooving through it. It’s like the best Saturday afternoon in the park you can remember.