Two of organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith's earliest gems (Black Coffee and Mr. Wonderful) are reissued in full on a single CD, Black Coffee. Although influenced by Jimmy Smith, this particular organist was also a strong grooving player, able to play both blues and more complicated chord changes. He is showcased with a quartet that includes tenor saxophonist Seldon Powell and guitarist Eddie McFadden, and in a quintet with McFadden, tenor man Houston Person and trumpeter Sonny Williams; in both cases Leo Stevens is on drums. The material (with eight colorful originals including "I Remember Clifford," "Body and Soul," and "He's a Real Gone Guy" among the 15 numbers) has a fair amount of variety, and Johnny "Hammond" Smith is heard at his best throughout this reissue.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow