Blue Note and Verve recording artist who basically invented the "organ group" jazz trio sound. He took the standard Hammond B-3 organ from being a minor jazz instrument to the foreground of that time's jazz scene. Hs first recording were for the venerable Blue Note Records in 1956. He jumped labels to Verve Recors in 1962, and his music from that time is documented on a recently released Ultimate Jimmy Smith compilation.

Some have described Smith's tunes as cliched. They may sound that way today, but that's because every organ player since Jimmy Smith has basically copped his riffs. It's kind of like saying that Edgar Allen Poe's mysteries are cliched, which today they are, but when you invent the genre well ppl are gonna copy.

Verve Discography

  • Angel Eyes
  • Any Number Can Win
  • Bashin'
  • The Cat
  • Compact Jazz (compilation)
  • Damn!
  • The Dynamic Duo (with Wes Montgomery)
  • Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes
  • Got My Mojo Workin' -- Hoochie Coochie Man
  • Jazz Masters 29
  • Organ Grinder Swing
  • Talkin' Verve: Roots of Acid Jazz (compilation)
  • Walk on the Wild Side: Best of the Verve Years (2 CD compilation)

"A great album" said the weird looking guy. Half of his hair was gone, and the rest was longer than comfortable. He was holding in his hands Jimmy Smith's Fourmost, which I had just recently selected from a desk full of CDs.

I was in Shades. A music shop in Ankara, Turkey. The man was the owner of the place. So, I figured he probably knew what he was talking about.

Later that day it turned out I was right. The album was great, featuring, aside from Smith himself, Stanley Turrentine at tenor sax, Kenny Burrell at the guitar and Grady Tate at drums. Tate also sings My Funny Valentine.

Jimmy Smith sounds bluesy. Or at least that's what he sounded to me that evening. He's surely the master of Hammond B-3. I was stunned to realize that, according to the liner notes, nobody's playing those fluid bass lines. Later I found out that it was Jimmy playing them with his feet. I still can't understand how he manages though.

As a note (thanks cordelia): Fourmost is from Milestone, not from Verve. I guess that's why it is not listed in mcSey's write-up.

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