Jimmy Smith


Jimmy Smith took the organ from novelty status in jazz to primary instrument status, having learned to develop bass lines with his feet, chordal accompaniment and solo lines with his right hand. Born in Norristown, Pa., on Dec. 8, 1925, Smith started out on piano at an early age, taught by his parents as well as self-taught. In 1948, he attended the Hamilton School of Music, and he attended the Ornstein School of Music from 1948-'50. In 1951, Smith began playing the Hammond organ, subsequently developing a reputation in the Philadelphia area. The year 1956 was a milestone: He was a smash in his debut at New York's Cafe Bohemia. This was followed by successful appearances at Birdland and the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival, setting the stage for international acclaim as the first jazz organ star of note. The past 40-plus years, Smith has toured  internationally and recorded with many of jazz's biggest names in a variety of contexts, from trios and quartets on up to large ensembles. Collaborating artists have included Wes Montgomery, Oliver Nelson and Kenny Burrell. When Smith moved Los Angeles, he and his wife, Lola, opened a jazz club, Jimmy Smith's Jazz Supper Club Smith's aggressive style of organ playing is a unique blend of bop with r&b.

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Go to Jimmy Smith's page at emusic for free MP3 downloads
Recommended recordings
Jimmy Smith's Finest Hour Verve
Root Down Verve
Blue Bash Verve
Organ Grinder Swing Verve
Peter and the Woolf Verve
The Dynamic Duo with Wes Montgomery, Verve
Further adventures of Jimmy and Wes with Wes Montgomery Verve
Christmas Cookin with Wes Montgomery Verve
The Cat Verve
Walk on the Wild Side Verve
Ultimate Jimmy Smith  Verve
The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith: Bashin' Verve
Sum Serious Blues Fantasy / Milestone
Fourmost Fantasy / Milestone
Midnight Special Blue Note
The Sermon Blue Note 
Prayer Meetin' Blue Note 
Back at the Chicken Shack Blue Note
House Party  Blue Note
Six Views of the Blues  Blue Note
Softly as a Summer Breeze   Blue Note
Home Coockin'  Blue Note
Best of the Blue Note Years  Blue Note
Crazy Baby   Blue Note
A new Sound a New Star  Blue Note
I'm Movin'on  Blue Note
Groovin'at Small's Paradise  Blue Note
Standards  Blue Note
Open House / Plain Talk  Blue Note