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Jimmy Smith

Discussion in 'Blues & Jazz' started by Sweaty, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Sweaty

    Sweaty ThE OtHeR rAmOnE

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    How can anyone forget Jimmy Smith, a true legen of the hammond organ. Jimmy Smith (December 8, 1928 (birth year is disputed and is often given as 1925) – February 8, 2005) was a jazz musician whose performances on the Hammond B-3 electric organ helped to popularize this instrument. In 2005, Smith was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honors that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians.

    I had the great fortune of catching him live In London's Jazz Cafe, he did keep on crying out 1925!! so I guess he was born then. He was excellent and his backing band were brilliant too. My friend and I sat on the stage next to the drummer and the backing band played a number and then Jimmy came down to the stage and told someome to, " get me a glass of G*d D*?n wine" and "can someone turn the G*d D*?n heating up". He played for over an hour an then said he had to go as he had a baby on the way before looking at his band and saying, " it aint mine" and asked the band members individually if it was their's.

    This guy was making music whilst my father was a twinkle in the milkmans eye, he has made so many albums it's untrue.

    Here is a couple of my faves.





    This is what Wikipedia say about his career and musical style, thought he needed a proper write up.

    Born James Oscar Smith and originally a pianist, Smith switched to organ in 1953 after hearing Wild Bill Davis. He purchased his first Hammond organ, rented a warehouse to practice in and emerged after little more than a year with an exciting new sound which was to completely revolutionize the way in which the instrument could be played. On hearing him playing in a Philadelphia club, Blue Note's Alfred Lion immediately signed him to the label and with his second album, also known as The Champ, quickly established Smith as a new star on the jazz scene. He was a prolific recording artist and as a leader, recorded around 40 sessions for Blue Note in just 8 years beginning in 1956. His most notable albums from this period include The Sermon!, House Party, Home Cookin' , Midnight Special, Back at the Chicken Shack and Prayer Meetin' .

    Smith then signed to Verve Records label in 1962. His first album Bashin', sold well and for the first time set Smith with a big band, led by Oliver Nelson. Further big band collaborations followed, most successfully with Lalo Schifrin for The Cat and guitarist Wes Montgomery, with whom he recorded two albums: The Dynamic Duo and Further Adventures Of Jimmy and Wes. Other notable albums from this period include Blue Bash and Organ Grinder's Swing with Kenny Burrell, The Boss with George Benson, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Got My Mojo Working, and the funky Root Down.

    During the 1950s and 1960s, Smith recorded with some of the great jazz musicians of the day such as Kenny Burrell, George Benson, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Lee Morgan, Lou Donaldson, Tina Brooks, Jackie McLean, Grady Tate and Donald Bailey. In the 1970s, Smith opened his own supperclub in Los Angeles, California and played there regularly. With Guitarist Paul C Saenz, Larry Paxton, on Drums, Freddy Garcia, on Sax.

    Smith had a career revival in the 1980s and 1990s, again recording for Blue Note and Verve, and for Milestone and Elektra. Smith also recorded with other artists including Quincy Jones/Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Joey DeFrancesco. His last major album Dot Com Blues (Blue Thumb, 2000), featured many special guests such as Dr. John, B. B. King and Etta James.

    While the electric organ was used in jazz by Fats Waller and Count Basie, Smith's virtuoso improvisation technique on the Hammond helped to popularize the electric organ as a jazz and blues instrument. For ballads, he played walking bass lines on the bass pedals. For uptempo tunes, he would play the bass line on the lower manual and use the pedals for emphasis on the attack of certain notes, which helped to emulate the attack and sound of a string bass.

    Any other fans out there?
     
  2. Aktivator

    Aktivator aka Hightea

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    yeap!! I really like his stuff with Wes Montgomery. He is killer on the organ.

     
  3. Hepcat

    Hepcat retired

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    Sweaty:

    I really like organ riffs in rock music!

    Therefore, which would be the Jimmy Smith albums that would be the least jazzy? I prefer rhythm & blues, soul or blues rock to jazz. And which Jimmy Smith albums from among these would have the more basic accompaniment, i.e. no strings or horns, just guitars and drums?

    :huh:
     
  4. Odysseus

    Odysseus Kustom Kartilage

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    Permit me to recommend Organ Grinder Swing. It's a basic trio but loaded for jammin': Jimmy driving his Hammond B3, Kenny Burrell on guitar, and solid Grady Tate on drums. It's a great example of a sparse but groovin' jazz trio that cooks, 1965 style.

    I was given a cassette of Jimmy Smith's "The Sermon" LP, one of his earlier recordings, in 1990. I was just beginning to explore Jazz more and this was/is still a pivotal and enjoyable album.

    Jimmy McGriff is another Hammond B3 master in jazz That lays it down.
     

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  5. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Devout Heathen

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    Unbelievable organ player. Here is my favorite, which was used by a radio host on WBZ in Boston for years as his bumper music...

     
  6. Sweaty

    Sweaty ThE OtHeR rAmOnE

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    I agree with Odysseus, Organ Grinder Swing, The Sermon and House Party are all excellent, I also like Groovin' at smalls vol 1 and 2. Glad to see you are interested in the hammond Hepcat, Jimmy Smith IMO is the master.
     
  7. BepVanKlaveren

    BepVanKlaveren Junior Member

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    You should check out Root Down, it's a live album, when he plays with some young Funk cats! It's really grooving mayne you should check it out.
     

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