Off The Top

Jimmy Smith

27 October 2003
One of the great musical innovators of the 20th century, Jimmy Smith basically invented the sound of the modern organ, the Hammond B3 that he first recorded on in 1955. His influence was far-reaching, covering not just the jazz genre but also virtually anyone who took up the instrument. By 1982 he had made more than 60 records, mainly for the Blue Note and Verve labels.  What makes this record is unique in his history, is that the outstanding personnel includes two musicians with whom he recorded frequently—Stanley Turrentine and Grady Tate—and two other musicians with whom he recorded infrequently, George Benson and Ron Carter. In fact, this was the first time Jimmy and George met in the studio. Attractive, varied repertoire and empathic performances lead to one of the more satisfying small group discs in Jimmy’s discography.  Included as a bonus is a rare, first-time-on-CD live album done the following year at the Atlanta Free Jazz Festival, featuring Kenny Burrell and Johnny Griffin.