Saturday Night Music: Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith’s platters would always swing on my stepfather’s old blue portable box record player.  Turn those computer speakers up, especially the bass:

The Incredible Jimmy Smith, maestro of the Hammond B-3 organ, died in 2005 at the age of 79, but his style lives on in his protégé, Joey DeFrancesco.

The Sermon, one of his famous compositions, is actually about 20 minutes long, and at the time of this 1964 video, which came from the BBC, about six years old.  That’s how potent his following and popularity was among jazz fans during the Fifties and Sixties.

Jimmy Smith started out as a pianist, but after hearing Wild Bill Davis in 1953, so says Wikipedia, he switched to the Hammond organ.  Smith directly influenced musicians like Brian Auger (of Oblivion Express fame), The Beastie Boys, Medeski, Martin and Wood,  and Keith Emerson (formerly of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or ELO).

His most accessible (read, mainstream) collaboration was with the workaholic jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.   I always felt that these two were twin spirits separated at birth getting high off their music, with the results recorded for all time on vinyl.  Their two albums were The Dynamic Duo (the title taken from the Batman show of the Sixties) and Further Adventures Of Jimmy and Wes.  But it didn’t last, as Montgomery died from a heart attack at age 45 in 1968.

Smith’s last album was produced in 2000; he recorded primarily with Blue Note and Verve, although he recorded with Milestone, Blue Thumb, Castle, and Elektra in his later, “second wind” years.  Particularly with Blue Note, his forty-odd recordings with the label were not all released until recently.

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~ by blksista on April 25, 2009.

4 Responses to “Saturday Night Music: Jimmy Smith”

  1. Very cool site… thanks for the great tune also… Joe


  2. […] Continued here:  Saturday Night Music: Jimmy Smith « This Black Sista's Page […]


  3. great stuff, thanks!!!!


  4. […] Original post by This Black Sista’s Page […]


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