Jimmy Smith

JimmySmith_GroovinAtSmallsOriginally a pianist, Jimmy Smith switched to organ in 1953 after hearing organist Wild Bill Davis. Before Jimmy released his albums in the mid 1950’s the organ was used only sporadically in jazz. After Smith purchased his first Hammond organ he rented a warehouse to practice in and emerged a year later with a new sound that revolutionized the way in which the instrument could be played.

Jimmy Smith - Episode 1

After hearing him playing in a Philadelphia club, Blue Note's Alfred Lion immediately signed him to the label. His first records quickly established Smith as a new star on the jazz scene. He was a prolific recording artist, and as a leader, recorded over 30 sessions for Blue Note in 8 years beginning in 1956. His most notable albums from this period include The Sermon!, House Party, Home Cookin,' Midnight Special, Back at the Chicken Shack, Prayer Meetin' and a number of live sessions. During the 1950s and 1960s, Smith recorded with many important jazz musicians including Kenny Burrell, George Benson, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Lee Morgan, Lou Donaldson, Tina Brooks, Jackie McLean, Grady Tate and Donald Bailey.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Back at the Chicken ShackJimmy SmithBack at the Chicken Shack1960
Flying HomeWild Bill DavisDance the Madison1960
Anahuaca BreakdownBill Doggettca. 1955
Sweet Georgia BrownMilt Bucknerca. 1970
The PreacherJimmy SmithA New Star….A New Sound1956
But Not for MeJimmy SmithA New Star….A New Sound1956
ChampJimmy SmithA New Star….A New Sound1956

Jimmy Smith - Episode 2

1957 and 1958 were very busy years for Jimmy Smith on the Blue Note Record Label. There are many unique challenges recording a Hammond B-3 organ----this mostly has to do with the Leslie Tone Cabinet. The problem was solved by Blue Note recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder and this is the reason that the records have great clarity. The live recordings from the late 1950’s really capture the excitement and energy of Jimmy’s group and the sound quality of the recordings is outstanding.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
The SermonJimmy SmithThe Sermon1957
It’s Only a Paper MoonJimmy SmithGroovin’ at Smalls1957
A Night in TunisiaJimmy SmithCool Blues (live)1958
Cool BluesJimmy SmithCool Blues (live)1958
I Got a WomanJimmy SmithHome Cookin’1959
Since I Fell for YouJimmy SmithHome Cookin’1959
Jumpin’ the BluesJimmy SmithMidnight Special1960
When the Saints Go MarchingJimmy SmithPrayer Meetin’1963