The Finest In Jazz - Jimmy Smith
Released On: Jun 05, 2007
Released By: Blue Note
If you've heard the Beastie Boys "Root Down" with its jazzy sample or dig the sounds of funky organ trios like Medeski Martin & Wood or Soulive then you're already familiar with sound Jimmy Smith crafted in the 1950s. Smith is widely recognized as the man who introduced the Hammond b-3 organ as a legitimate instrument and translated the jazz language of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to the keyboard that was mainly housed in churches around the country. He made his first album as a leader for Blue Note in 1956 and earned the nickname "The Incredible" for his astoundingly fast solos and the unique technique he employed where he played bass notes on with his left hand (or the organ's pedals) while simultaneously mimicking a horn solo with his right hand. His strong grooves, soulful approach and lyrical qualities made Jimmy immensely popular and he was Blue Note's biggest seller for the majority of his seven year run on the label.
Dizzy Gillespie's bebop classic "The Champ" from one of Jimmy Smith's earliest albums on Blue Note starts off this collection. Smith's gospel roots are on display on "Minor Chant" and the traditional hymn "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", and his bluesy side is found on "Blues After All", "I Got A Woman", and "Jumpin' Blues". The funky Blue Note classic "Fungji Mama" by trumpeter Blue Mitchell was recorded for Smith's homecoming session with Blue Note in 1986 and closes out this set.