Jimmy Smith |  Artist

Jimmy Smith | Artist

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James Oscar Smith was an American jazz musician born 1928 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. His albums often charted on Billboard magazine and he helped popularize the Hammond B-3 organ, creating a link between jazz and 1960s soul music. Smith was a child prodigy, joining his father's song-and-dance routine in clubs at the age of six. He began teaching himself to play the piano and at the age of nine won a Philadelphia radio talent contest as a boogie-woogie pianist. He began exploring the Hammond organ in 1951 and switched permanently to that instrument in 1954. Upon hearing him playing in a Philadelphia club, Blue Note's Alfred Lion immediately signed him to the label and his second album, The Champ quickly established Smith as a new star on the jazz scene. He was a prolific recording artist and, as a band leader, dubbed The Incredible Jimmy Smith, recorded around forty sessions for Blue Note in just eight years beginning in 1956. Standout albums from this period include Jimmy Smith at the Organ Vol.3, The Sermon!, Bashin': The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith, The Cat, Blue Bash! and Back at the Chicken Shack. Smith also collaborated with jazz guitarists Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell, and worked successfully in the Big Band style, notably with film soundtrack composer and arranger Lalo Schifrin. While the electric organ had been used in jazz before, Smith's virtuoso improvisational technique on the Hammond helped to popularize the electric organ used with the distinctive Leslie Speaker, as a jazz and blues instrument. His sound and technique influenced subsequent rock music keyboardists such as Jon Lord, Brian Auger and Keith Emerson.

Artist Website: wikipedia/Jimmy_Smith

Featured Albums: Jimmy Smith

Related Artists: The Incredible Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery, Lalo Schifrin

Video Clips: At The Organ, The Sermon, Midnight Special

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