Jimmy Smith brought the Hammond organ into hard bop and jazz in the 1950s, and his piano-fast solo runs on the instrument have never been equaled. This warm set from Blue Note Records, the label where Smith built most of his impressive legacy, selects eight of his performances for the label, including a 20-minute (and ten second) version of "The Sermon," the bouncing "Back at the Chicken Shack," and a fun romp through "See See Rider," among other delights, making this a quick introduction to the peak creative era of this one-of-a-kind jazz artist's long career.
This auspicious recording started out almost as an afterthought. Jimmy Smith was in the midst of making his excellent big-band album ANY NUMBER CAN WIN when he stepped into a couple of New York studios with old pal Kenny Burrell and a rhythm section to quickly cut the sides that became BLUE BASH. The air of spontaneity is certainly present here, as Burrell and Smith use the common language of the blues to move through a varied program.
Some of Kenny Burrell's best early work ! The album catches Kenny in the perfect Blue Note jam session mode of the late 50s — one used also with Jimmy Smith, and which features a number of the label's star players hitting hard with the main soloist. Players on the two volume set include Duke Jordan or Bobby Timmons piano, Junior Cook and Tina Brooks tenor, Louis Smith trumpet, and Art Blakey on Drums. The cuts have a very open-ended blowing session feel, and Kenny comes through surprisingly well, really picking up steam on a way you don't always hear in more restrained recordings.
Respect/Livin’ It Up, a two-on-one release from Verve Select, brings together two classic albums from Jimmy Smith, the world’s premier jazz-soul organist. Smith became a star with Verve Records in the mid-1960s. He leaned on superb big band arrangements by Oliver Nelson, a change from his earlier, small-group recordings on Blue Note. With Respect in 1967, Smith did something that thrilled his fans: he returned to a small group setting in Rudy Van Gelder’s now-legendary studio with his old Blue Note guitarist Thornel Schwartz, as well as Eric Gale, bassists Ron Carter and Bob Bushnell, and drummers Grady Tate and Bernard Purdie.
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.
Jimmy Smith recorded for Blue Note so frequently during the late '50s that many of his sessions remained unreleased for years. The music that comprises Lonesome Road sat in the vaults for years, until the Japanese division of Blue Note released the album in the '80s. Since Smith had so many albums on the market, it's understandable that Blue Note wanted to limit the number of records they released from him, but the music on Lonesome Road is almost as fine as that on The Sermon or Groovin' at Small's Paradise.