James Oscar Smith, 8 December 1925 (1928 is also cited by some sources), Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 8 February 2005, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The sound of the Hammond Organ in jazz was popularized by Smith, often using the prefix the incredible or the amazing. He became the most famous jazz organist of all times and possibly the most influential.
Brought up by musical parents, Smith was formally trained on piano and bass and combined the two skills with the Hammond while leading his own trio. He was heavily influenced by Missourian Wild Bill Davis. By the mid-50s Smith had refined his own brand of smoky soul jazz, which epitomized laid-back late night blues-based music. His vast output for the soul jazz era of Blue Note Records led the genre and resulted in a number of other Hammond B3 maestros appearing, notably, Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Big John Patton, Richard...
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