240

Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Open House

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Johnny "Hammond" Smith: Open House 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 tunes with great gusts of chords, Johnny "Hammond" Smith prefers to smolder behind, huffing and murmuring and occasionally taking a solo here and there. The presence of McFadden (who gigged with Jimmy Smith early on) and the fiery Thad Jones enlighten this session considerably, both taking memorable solos on a brisk "I Remember You". The others certainly don't embarrass themselves; Powell, a relative unknown, gets in a few good licks on every tune.

McFadden and Jones are missed on the second session, which features hard bop efforts from Virgil Jones and Person that don't really seem to fit the setting. Both are determined to leave no note unturned and often give the impression that they are trying too hard. The quartet does have all four wheels on the ground on steamy blues like "Eloise" and "Twixt The Sheets" (one of the best names for a song of this type ever), but pales next to the earlier group. However, the first session on this two-fer definitely makes this one worthy of acquisition.


Track Listing: Open House, Cyra, I Remember You, Theme From Cleopatra, Blues For De-De, Why Was I Born?, I Love You, Nica's Dream, Cleopatra and The African Knight, Bennie's Dream, Brake Through, Eloise, A Little Taste, Twixt The Sheets.

Personnel: On 1-7: Johnny "Hammond" Smith, organ; Thad Jones, trumpet, cornet; Seldon Powell, saxophone, flute; Eddie McFadden, guitar; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Loe Stevens, drums; Ray Barretto, congas. On 8-14: Johnny "Hammond" Smith, organ; Virgil Jones, trumpet; Houston Person, saxophone; Luis Taylor, drums.

Year Released: 1963 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Soundscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Soundscapes
by Jim Olin
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by James Nadal
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "A Good Time Was Had By All" CD/LP/Track Review A Good Time Was Had By All
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!