Jimmy Smith

The Best of Jimmy Smith [Verve 1967]

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A greatest-hits album of Jimmy Smith from the late '60s, presumably. Given the label and the pieces represented, this is more or less a best of the Verve years compilation. There is certainly some amazing organ playing on the album throughout, though occasionally the accompanying brass band can get a bit overbearing. When Smith is left to his own devices, with walking basslines in the feet, chord movements in the left hand, solo melodic lines in the right hand, and accompanying vocals, he's by far the best (and most innovative) organist of the era. These songs display that pretty well, though they can sound almost a bit too modern for his style at times. There are multitudes of other compilations available for the legend, but this one is one of the best as far as the Verve years are concerned. For a fuller picture, make sure to pick up a Blue Note compilation as well.

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