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Johnny Hammond

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Album Review

Johnny Hammond: Breakout

Read "Breakout" reviewed by Jim Santella

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 ...

Album Review

Johnny Hammond: Breakout

Read "Breakout" reviewed by David Rickert

A prime example of the CTI label’s indulgence in the commercial possibilities of jazz, Breakout gave Johnny Hammond the opportunity to escape from the long shadow cast by Jimmy Smith. Sticking with the Hammond B-3, by this time a bit old-fashioned as many had become enchanted with the Fender Rhodes, Hammond and his band contribute an album’s worth of soul jazz workouts. By this time, rock tunes had become the new would-be standards and Hammond proves that such unlikely candidates ...

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Backgrounder: Johnny Hammond - Breakout

Backgrounder: Johnny Hammond  - Breakout

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

As Johnny “Hammond" Smith became increasingly popular, he added his middle nickname to avoid being confused with guitarist Johnny Smith and organ great Jimmy Smith. He began recording as leader in 1959 and was a sideman throughout the 1960s. In 1971, Creed Taylor signed him to Kudu Records, his soul-flavored subsidiary of CTI. Smith's album Breakout (1971) was the first album released on the new label. The LP is notable for its terrific mix of tracks and the stellar musicians ...



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