The emergence of Jimmy Smith in 1956 was quite noteworthy -- here was an organist who could play his instrument with the facility of a Charlie Parker and yet could also dig into a lowdown blues. Smith's first three LPs (At the Organ, Vols. 1-3) are reissued in full on this double CD, along with four previously unreleased cuts and one selection ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love") only out earlier as a single. Although Smith's basic sound was slightly different than it would become (in fact, on the opening "The Way You Look Tonight," he often sounds like his main predecessor, Wild Bill Davis), he clearly had something new and fresh to offer. It is on the uptempo burners (such as "Lady Be Good" and "The Champ") that Jimmy Smith immediately showed the jazz world that he had no competitors. Even four decades later, he remains the dominant force on virtually all organists. Teamed with guitarist Thornel Schwartz and either Ray Perry (for the first nine numbers) or Donald Bailey on drums, Smith (who had only taken up the organ three years earlier) is well featured on 28 spirited selections. A historic set.
Share this page