133

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Good 'Nuff

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Good 'Nuff 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 here (1962's Cooks With Gator Tail ) to surround himself with players capable of turning up the heat when he isn’t quite up to the task.

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.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Brass Tactics" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Tactics
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "TajMo" CD/LP/Track Review TajMo
by James Nadal
Published: April 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.