Johnny "Hammond" Smith

Legends of Acid Jazz

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Out of all the soul-jazz organ players, only one was so thoroughly funked out that he personally adopted the name of his favorite keyboard, the B-3: Johnny "Hammond" Smith. While not as important in the development of jazz styles as other keyboard players such as Jimmy Smith, "Hammond" displayed an earthy, swinging talent worth listening to. Legends of Acid Jazz: Johnny "Hammond" Smith compiles under a single cover two albums Smith recorded in 1969, Soul Talk and Black Feeling! (complete with the liner notes from both original issues). On Legends, Smith gets down in the heady company of, among others, tenor saxophonist Rusty Bryant, funky drummer Bernard Purdie and guitarist Wally Richardson; Richardson here pays tribute to his bandmates with his compositions "Purdie Dirty" and "Johnny Hammond Boogaloo." Legends includes the pop covers "When Sunny Gets Blue" and "This Guy's In Love With You," opens with the original version of Smith's hit "Soul Talk," and concludes with the updated version he later recorded for Black Feeling. Not groundbreaking, but solid and a funky good time.

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