Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Good 'Nuff (2003)
Eddie McFadden paid his dues on Jimmy Smith’s early sessions and obviously learned his lessons; Willis Jackson is a fiery tenor player capable of infusing the proceedings with a heavy dose of rhythm ‘n’ blues. When the quartet sticks to traditional bluesy grooves, everything works well, but they struggle to find something to do with inferior material such as “Besame Mucho.” “No One Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” which could have been a real burner, ends up being cumbersome and loping.
Surprisingly, the second session (1965's The Stinger ), which features more obscure musicians in Houston Person or Earl Edwards on sax and Floyd Smith on guitar, works far better. The group finds the groove on every track, and even the originals have an element of novelty missing in the earlier session. Still, though, both sessions are fairly ordinary, and a listen to this CD may merely inspire someone to put on The Sermon instead. An earlier compilation, Open House, is a better demonstration of Smith’s abilities and features a stellar line-up featuring Thad Jones and Art Taylor.
Track Listing: 1. Good 'Nuff 2. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen 3. Sonja's Dreamland 4. Besame Mucho 5. Neckbones 6. Delicious 7. Y'All 8. The Stinger 9. There Is No Greate Love 10. Brother John 11. Cleopatra and The African Knight 12. You Don't Know What Love Is 13. Benny's Diggin.
Personnel: Johnny "Hammond" Smith-organ; Eddie McFadden, Floyd Smith-guitar; Willis Jackson, Houston Person, Earl Edwards-tenor sax; Loe Stevens.
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz