Groove great Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Smith (Hammond organ) together on the same album. Includes a rendition of "Fever." Three days of spare studio time while Smith was at work on a big-band date led to this highly enjoyable blowing session. The principals' interplay on the title-track sums up their whole musical relationship: punchy, bluesy but soaked in the good homour of playing for kicks.
Jimmy Smith wasn't the first organ player in jazz, but no one had a greater influence with the instrument than he did; Smith coaxed a rich, grooving tone from the Hammond B-3, and his sound and style made him a top instrumentalist in the 1950s and '60s, while a number of rock and R&B keyboardists would learn valuable lessons from Smith's example.
Verve's Great Songs/Great Performances series is yet another attempt in a seemingly never-ending stream of them to repackage – and hopefully resell – their vast catalog of jazz and blues. They're super cheap in both cost and presentation, but the music is almost always stellar. Jimmy Smith's Plays the Hits volume is no exception. These eight selection are covers of tunes by the Rolling Stones (" Satisfaction"), Fats Domino ("Blueberry Hill"), Don Covay ("Chain of Fools") James Brown ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"), Otis Redding ("Respect"), Al Green ("Let's Stay Together"), and others. It's a groove lover's cheap dream.
The seven sides on The Sermon! (1958) come from a pair of studio dates, the first of which was held August 25, 1957 and includes Jimmy Smith (organ), Lee Morgan (trumpet), George Coleman (alto sax), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Eddie McFadden (guitar), Kenny Burrell (guitar) and Donald Bailey (drums). This was followed by a second exactly six months (to the day) later on February 25, 1958. Along with Smith, present and accounted for during the session were Lou Donaldson (alto sax) replacing Coleman in addition to contributions from Tina Brooks (tenor sax) and the ubiquitous Art Blakey (drums). ~ AllMusic
These recordings from 1957 are among the most momentous to appear in the Rudy Van Gelder series, marking the first American appearance on CD of these early live recordings and adding four previously unreleased tracks. Accompanied by his regular band of guitarist Eddie McFadden and drummer Donald Bailey, Smith is an extraordinary musical presence, combining the energy of a big band and a sanctified congregation as he serves up kinetic versions of pop songs, jazz standards, and blues. ~ Amazon