Pop and Smith put a soulful spin on the 1966 single, with Smith’s organ the highlight of a spacious arrangement that nearly doubles the song’s original runtime.
Both Pop and Smith are currently Florida natives, with Pop residing in Miami and Smith in Fort Lauderdale. “I was playing with my trio at Arts Garage in Delray Beach in Florida,” Smith said in a statement. “Iggy would come by and say he wanted to play with me. I let him play slaparoo and he loved it. He enjoyed playing with us. We thought about recording a few songs, so we went in with my trio backing us up, and it worked.”
In addition to their Donovan cover, the duo — alongside Smith’s trio of guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, drummer Johnathan Blake, and percussionist Richard Bravo — also recorded a cover of Timmy Thomas’ 1972 single “Why Can’t We Live Together” at a Miami studio.
The Pop collaborations bookend the eight-song, Don Was-produced Breathe, with the middle six tracks culled from Smith’s 75th-birthday show at New York’s Jazz Standard in 2017; Smith’s previous LP, 2018’s All in My Mind, similarly features selections from the weeklong residency.
Breathe is due out March 26th via Blue Note, which Smith rejoined in 2015 after a string of albums on the label in the late Sixties/early Seventies. “Blue Note is like family,” Smith added. “It’s like I never left. Everybody is great to work with. They give me the opportunity to play my life, to tell my story.”