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Jazz Masters 29: Jimmy Smith

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Album Review

On this fine overview of Jimmy Smith's career, Verve continues its excellent tradition of providing excellent single-disc, budget-priced compilations of some of jazz's greatest artists. Of course, Verve Jazz Masters 29 is not the place for a definitive selection of Smith's greatest moments — a single disc could never achieve this — but it's a near-perfect introduction to the artist, containing such classics as "Organ Grinder's Swing," "The Preacher," and "Walk on the Wild Side." The liner notes are brief but informative.


Born: December 8, 1928 in Norristown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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. James Oscar Smith was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on December 8, 1928 (some sources cite his birth year as 1925). Smith's father was a musician and...
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