This is the kind of nasty, back-alley music that makes you wince in ecstasy. With Stanley Turrentine's tenor and Kenny Burrell's guitar sharing solo space, the Hammond master digs in with a blues-drenched shovel. While certainly fluent in the bop idiom, Smith's organ work maintains a direct emotional peg that reflects the swing and jump blues of a previous generation. ~ Amazon
"Midnight Special" is the lesser-known sister album of Jimmy Smith's monumental "Back at the Chicken Shack." The "Midnight Special" album has exactly the same sound (lineup) and the songs on "Midnight Special" seem to pick up right where "Chicken Shack" left off. ~ Amazon
Smith influenced many other jazz organists, as well as rock keyboardists like avowed Smith fan Keith Emerson. More recently, Smith influenced bands such as the Beastie Boys, who sampled the bassline from "Root Down (and Get It)" from Root Down—and saluted Smith in the lyrics—for their own hit "Root Down," Medeski, Martin & Wood, and The Hayden-Eckert Ensemble. The Acid Jazz movement also reflects Smith's organ style. In 1999, Smith guested on two tracks of a live album, Incredible!- with his protégé, Joey DeFrancesco, a then 28-year-old organist. Smith and DeFrancesco later played together on the collaborative album Legacy, released in 2005 shortly after Smith's death.
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.
Respect/Livin’ It Up, a two-on-one release from Verve Select, brings together two classic albums from Jimmy Smith, the world’s premier jazz-soul organist. Smith became a star with Verve Records in the mid-1960s. He leaned on superb big band arrangements by Oliver Nelson, a change from his earlier, small-group recordings on Blue Note. With Respect in 1967, Smith did something that thrilled his fans: he returned to a small group setting in Rudy Van Gelder’s now-legendary studio with his old Blue Note guitarist Thornel Schwartz, as well as Eric Gale, bassists Ron Carter and Bob Bushnell, and drummers Grady Tate and Bernard Purdie.