When Jimmy Smith exploded onto the jazz scene in 1956, he changed everything about the way the organ was used and perceived in jazz. His first two years of recording were mind-bogglingly prolific, producing 13 albums. Three marathon jam sessions during this period produced some of his finest early work, including The Sermon! Smith displays both a youthful fire and a musical wisdom beyond his years throughout the album. Whether blazing through hard bop tunes like "Confirmation" and "Au Privave" (both Charlie Parker compositions) or gently caressing the ballad "Lover Man," Smith constantly proves himself the most inventive organist of the bop generation. In moving beyond the classic organ trio format, Smith takes the organ into new areas, and trading solos with the likes of Lee Morgan and Lou Donaldson, he makes it plain that his is an individual voice worthy of its eventual place in the jazz canon. A special treat here is the tenor work of the great, underrated Tina Brooks.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic