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Johnny Hammond: Breakout

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Johnny Hammond: Breakout
The CTI jazz catalog holds many surprises. This one features a strong 8-piece band led by organist Johnny Hammond (1933-1997), who was known earlier as Johnny "Hammond" Smith. Recorded in 1971, the album emphasized swinging mood music with a flair for popular sounds. It marked a turning point in the career of Grover Washington, Jr. He, Hank Crawford and Eric Gale are all over the place, alongside Hammond's B-3. It’s a party. A previously unissued track, recorded shortly after the release of Breakout, is added to the end of this reissue.

Hammond turned the keyboard into his personal "singing" machine. Relying on a powerful rhythm section, he wailed loud and clear. Soul-jazz like this appealed to a wide audience. Still does. At the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Hammond mesmerized with his 16-minute edition of "It's Too Late." Guest George Benson seems to be drawing his energy from Hammond. At one point, the organist enthuses like a wild man. The audience reaction matches ours. No wonder they were clapping on 2 and 4. Powerful percussion highlights from Billy Cobham and Airto drive the message home. It was a memorable night, and the added track simply increases the album's unquestioned value. Like most of the other CTI jazz treasures being reissued this year, Johnny Hammond's Breakout is a don't-miss affair.

Track Listing

It's Too Late, Workin' On A Groovy Thing, Never Can Say Goodbye, Blues Selah, Breakout, It's Too Late (live).

Personnel

Johnny "Hammond" Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Hank Crawford
saxophone, alto
Airto Moreira
percussion
Eric Gale
guitar, acoustic
Danny Moore
trumpet

John Williams: keyboards.

Album information

Title: Breakout | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CTI Records


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