One of the undisputed kings of the jazz organ, Jimmy Smith cut many of his finest recordings for the venerable Blue Note label in the late 1950s and early '60s. This collection presents six of these tracks, along with the chronologically out-of-place, but sonically in-step "Fungii Mama," a deft, Latin-tinged number from '86. "The Sermon" and "Back at the Chicken Shack," two funky originals, are highlights of the set, with Smith offering up some of his most memorable blues-tinged Hammond B3 lines. These and other tunes, such as "The Jumpin' Blues," are sterling examples of the then-nascent soul-jazz movement, a groove-centric style popularized in great part by Blue Note in the '60s and '70s. Never one to be easily pigeonholed, however, Smith also performs an undeniably nimble take on the traditional military-cadenced "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," proving that he could be an eclectic, unpredictable, and wonderfully playful performer. Although Smith is arguably best represented by his full albums of the era (see THE SERMON! and PRAYER MEETIN'), this compilation provides an excellent introduction to the jazz legend.
18894MThe Best of Jimmy Smith: The Blue Note Years (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/11/077779114023.jpg?v=411.9812.05USDInStock/Genre/Jazz/Music Categories/Jazz-Instrument-Soul-JazzEMI Mod AfwCDJazzJimmy-Smith2007-03-22
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