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Ultimate Jimmy Smith

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Album Review

Verve's Ultimate Jimmy Smith may not live up to its billing — after all, many of Smith's classic recordings were for Blue Note — but the budget-priced collection is nevertheless a terrific introductory sampler. Grover Washington, Jr., a kindred spirit in the quest for groove, selected the 12 songs on the compilation, and he did an excellent job of balancing acknowledged classics with choices that illustrate Smith's range. Some listeners will undoubtedly find a favorite or two missing, but these 11 tracks — including "The Champ," "Refractions," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf," "Walk on the Wild Side," "L'il Darlin'," "Ol' Man River," "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" and "Organ Grinder Swing" — capture the essence of Smith's Verve recordings, which is enough to make this a worthwhile sampler.


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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Ultimate Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Smith
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