Compared to his earlier Blue Note recordings, organist Jimmy Smith's outings for Verve are not as strong from a jazz standpoint. Certainly his renditions of the "Theme from Joy House," "The Cat" and the "Main Title from The Carpetbaggers" are not all that significant. However, this CD has some tasteful arrangements for the big band by Lalo Schifrin and some good playing by the great organist on a variety of other blues-oriented material. Also the combination of organ with a big band is sometimes quite appealing, making this CD worth picking up despite its commercial tracks.
This Amazing DVD presents the talents of Jimmy Smith in two differents periods and contexts. The first item consists of footage from los Angeles TV show in 1962, which captured Smith in a trio format at the height of his powers. The item showcases Smith at an outstanding 1999 concert with a bigger band including noted Puerto Rican flutist Nestro Torres. It was filmed after Smith had already become a jazz legend.
It would not be an overstatement to say that organist Jimmy Smith was busy during February 11-13, 1957, for he recorded enough material for these three CDs, 21 often lengthy performances that originally appeared on five LPs plus three others that had been previously unissued. Smith is not only heard early in his career with his regular trio but in a sextet with trumpeter Donald Byrd, altoist Lou Donaldson, tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, and drummer Art Blakey, in duets with Donaldson and with a quartet that also stars guitarist Kenny Burrell.
The seven sides on The Sermon! (1958) come from a pair of studio dates, the first of which was held August 25, 1957 and includes Jimmy Smith (organ), Lee Morgan (trumpet), George Coleman (alto sax), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Eddie McFadden (guitar), Kenny Burrell (guitar) and Donald Bailey (drums). This was followed by a second exactly six months (to the day) later on February 25, 1958. Along with Smith, present and accounted for during the session were Lou Donaldson (alto sax) replacing Coleman in addition to contributions from Tina Brooks (tenor sax) and the ubiquitous Art Blakey (drums). ~ AllMusic
2009 release from the Jazz great containing Smith's complete classic Sermon sessions, in chronological order, together for the first time ever on a single set. These are his only preserved collaborations with Lee Morgan, the formidable trumpet player whose life came to a tragic end after being shot by his girlfriend at the tender age of 33. Tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks is also featured here. The outstanding reedman would pass away at the age of 42 after a life of drug addiction and self abuse. The great Jimmy Smiths was a Jazz musician whose performances on the Hammond B-3 electric organ helped to popularize this instrument.