Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Good feelings and plenty of soul – some very early work as a leader from Hammond hero Johnny Smith! The set's got Johnny using the organ with lots of stops out – that full, wide range of the instrument that initially knocked so many folks for a loop when it first came into jazz – then really took strong formation in the hands of a player like this! The groove's a bit like a Jimmy Smith record for Blue Note, but a lot grittier too – with some occasional elements of R&B mixed in with the more far-reaching jazz sensibilities. The group features Thornel Schwartz on guitar, who'd played famously with Jimmy Smith – plus George Tucker on bass and Leo Stevens on drums.
The Jazz Invaders here are tighter than ever – and not just because they've got some heavy Hammond help from the legendary Lonnie Smith! Smith's definitely a key part of what makes this album so great – and his organ lines have a sharpness and depth that really stands out from the rest of the group – kind of an extra level of sound that really makes the whole thing sparkle! Yet the group themselves are pretty wonderful too – much more righteous than ever before, going past just a combo who can copy the best jazz modes, into the realm of one that's more than capable of making some mighty fresh sounds of their own.
Good Deal is a typically fine record from the Three Sounds, who were beginning to hit their stride when this session was recorded in May of 1959. Like most of their records, it's laidback – even when the group works a swinging tempo, there's a sense of ease that keeps the mood friendly, relaxed and mellow. Balancing standards like "Satin Doll," "Soft Winds" and "That's All" with bop ("Robbin's Nest"), calypso ("St. Thomas") and originals, the Three Sounds cover a lot of stylistic territory, putting their distinctive stamp on each song. It's very accessible, pleasant soul-jazz and mainstream hard bop, but Gene Harris' masterful technique means that Good Deal rewards close listening as well.
While organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith never attained the status of Jimmy Smith, he nonetheless fronted first-rate bands and accumulated a fine discography. Recorded in 1961, Opus de Funk brings together two Smith albums in one package, Stimulation and Opus de Funk. Since the same band – vibraphonist Freddie McCoy, guitarist Eddie McFadden, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Leo Stevens – played on both sets, and since both albums aren't very long by contemporary standards, the pair fit snuggly on the same CD. The really unusual element here is the presence of McCoy, because one doesn't usually associate vibes with jazz organ combos.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). An excellent piece of early soul-jazz, 1960's Talk That Talk isn't as bop-oriented as Shirley Scott's albums with Stanley Turrentine from the same period, as flashy and ornate as the albums Jimmy Smith was starting to make with Creed Taylor and Lalo Schifrin, or as funky and blues-based as the best of Jimmy McGriff or "Brother" Jack McDuff. Smith's playing on this album is low-key almost to the point of being conservative, deeply soulful without resorting to what would soon become tired funk clichés.