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Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

252

Album Review

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Opus de Funk

Read "Opus de Funk" reviewed by David Rickert


Johnny “Hammond" Smith will always be tagged as the other Smith on the B-3, grouped together with a host of other organists who never managed to break free from the club circuit into the realm of true infamy. However, Smith's recordings are slowly making their way back into print via generous two-fer CDs from Prestige, giving us an opportunity to reassess the career of an artist stuck in the minor leagues.

At the time that the two sessions ...

133

Album Review

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Good 'Nuff

Read "Good 'Nuff" reviewed by David Rickert


Good Nuff is a perfect title for a Johnny Smith record, given that it aptly describes most of his records. Johnny “Hammond” Smith never earned the acclaim of the other organist who bears his last name, and for good reason; he simply isn’t as talented or inventive as the one who carved out several dynamic sessions for Blue Note. Often resorting to a template of well-worn grooves and clichés, Smith is fortunate enough on the first of the two sessions ...

240

Album Review

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Open House

Read "Open House" reviewed by David Rickert


The best organ jazz records fuse elements of gospel, blues, and soul together with the atmosphere of a jam session, as if a bunch of friends got together one night to toss a few back and play some tunes. Johnny “Hammond" Smith certainly has the right idea on the first of the sessions on this two-fer reissue; the instrumentation approximates that of Jimmy Smith's classic “The Sermon" but the music burns at a slightly lower temperature. Whereas Jimmy Smith punctuates ...

195

Album Review

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: The Soulful Blues

Read "The Soulful Blues" reviewed by Derek Taylor


Smith was one of many in a long line of second tier Soul Jazz organists that flourished during the instrument’s stratospheric ascendancy during the 1960s. Appropriately titled, this disc delves generously into two sides of Smith’s oeuvre. The first session focuses prominently on Soul and R&B hits from the era touching on the songbooks of Ben E. King and others. While the material isn’t the most constructive to imaginative improvisation the solid crew of sidemen on hand enables Smith to ...

139

Album Review

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Soul Flowers

Read "Soul Flowers" reviewed by Derek Taylor


P>Considering the sometimes-swaggering braggadocio of the soul jazz scene any B-3 player audacious enough to attach the instrument to his name was begging for a fracas from his peers. Fortunately for Smith he had several decades of experience at the organ under his belt when he cut this pair of sessions and the requisite chops to hold his own against most dissenters. Adding to his advantage was the large group of veteran session players assembled for the dates, particularly the ...


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