The organ can often take a back seat in the pecking order of great Jazz instruments but underappreciate it at your peril. The likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Booker T and Ray Charles, to name but a few, made the instrument their own while crafting jazz cuts of dazzling brilliance.
This two-fer CD pairs 1972's Live at the Lighthouse with the less impressive, though still worthy, 1974 album Kharma, which was recorded at that year's Montreux Jazz Festival. As the head of a sextet on Live at the Lighthouse, Earland spearheaded some first-class soul-jazz, which integrated some funk and rock of the early '70s without sounding like a watered-down cocktail of all those styles (as many other soul-jazz-pop albums of the time did). The horn section of James Vass on sax and Elmer Coles on trumpet leaned more toward soul than jazz, as heard on the opening instrumental cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Smilin'." The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" wasn't the greatest tune to attempt, though Earland gamely put it into a boppish swing arrangement.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A sweet Atlantic soul groover from Brother Jack McDuff – and a set that has him tightening up his Hammond sound from his earlier years at Prestige Records! The tunes here are short and punched-up – almost instrumental soul numbers in their construction, but still filled with plenty of jazz – thanks to Jack's mad solos on organ, and some killer drums from Joe Dukes and Bernard Purdie! Other players include George Coleman on tenor, Cornell Dupree on guitar, and Buddy Lucas on baritone sax – and arrangements are by JJ Jackson and Jack himself.
While organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith never attained the status of Jimmy Smith, he nonetheless fronted first-rate bands and accumulated a fine discography. Recorded in 1961, Opus de Funk brings together two Smith albums in one package, Stimulation and Opus de Funk. Since the same band – vibraphonist Freddie McCoy, guitarist Eddie McFadden, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Leo Stevens – played on both sets, and since both albums aren't very long by contemporary standards, the pair fit snuggly on the same CD. The really unusual element here is the presence of McCoy, because one doesn't usually associate vibes with jazz organ combos.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). An excellent piece of early soul-jazz, 1960's Talk That Talk isn't as bop-oriented as Shirley Scott's albums with Stanley Turrentine from the same period, as flashy and ornate as the albums Jimmy Smith was starting to make with Creed Taylor and Lalo Schifrin, or as funky and blues-based as the best of Jimmy McGriff or "Brother" Jack McDuff. Smith's playing on this album is low-key almost to the point of being conservative, deeply soulful without resorting to what would soon become tired funk clichés.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Good feelings and plenty of soul – some very early work as a leader from Hammond hero Johnny Smith! The set's got Johnny using the organ with lots of stops out – that full, wide range of the instrument that initially knocked so many folks for a loop when it first came into jazz – then really took strong formation in the hands of a player like this! The groove's a bit like a Jimmy Smith record for Blue Note, but a lot grittier too – with some occasional elements of R&B mixed in with the more far-reaching jazz sensibilities. The group features Thornel Schwartz on guitar, who'd played famously with Jimmy Smith – plus George Tucker on bass and Leo Stevens on drums.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). On Johnny "Hammond" Smith's first album as a leader, the organist simply sits himself down in front of a standard guitar-bass-drums trio (featuring guitarist Thornel Schwartz, who had previously worked with Jimmy Smith) and lets rip. The songs are a nice combination of standards, like "Secret Love," "The Masquerade Is Over" and "Pennies From Heaven," along with Smith originals that have a more blues-based, gospel-like air.