My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Back at the Chicken Shack was recorded and released in 1960 (Smith’s album Midnight Special was recorded during the same sessions) on Blue Note Records.
What I liked: Well this is an interesting album. It’s like a jazz version of Booker T and The MG’s and it’s a lot of fun! Smith’s Hammond B3 organ is full of soul and it just makes for a really interesting sound. Highlights for me are the title track “Back at the Chicken Shack” and “Messy Bessie”, the latter of which has some great guitar work from Kenny Burrell.
What I Didn’t Like: When this sways too far into the traditional jazz sound like on “Minor Chant” I really lose interest. There is just too much noodling from tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, which if you’ve been keeping up with me on this blog you know I have difficulty getting into.
My Overall Thoughts: For the most part, I really enjoyed this album. It’s just a great mix of the sixties soul sound with jazz. I really like it when I know nothing about an album I will be listening to for this project and it ends up being something really interesting!
While researching I also discovered Smith’s song Root Down and Get It from Smith’s album Root Down, is the backing music on the Beastie Boys song of the same name. I had always thought the music was the Beasties own creation.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I agree that this album should be here. It’s a really cool fusion of music styles that works really well.
Rating (Out of 5): 4
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (26/31)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 84%