Jimmy Smith

The Hootchie Coochie Man [Verve 1967]

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One of Jimmy Smith's finest Verve recordings, this album is almost entirely centered around the title track, where Smith cuts loose on some raspy vocals and even raspier organ. Smith's organ work is indeed the stuff of legends, and this track bears proof. His intense, chromatic runs are positively spellbinding, and juxtaposed with the mighty band's kick (including Grady Tate on drums and Kenny Burrell's guitar) it's truly an awesome mixture of jazz and blues. John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" is amazing, as is Ray Charles' "One Mint Julep," where Smith's organ work reaches unheard-of levels. Truly a classic, this is one of the finest examples of both mid-'60s jazz and blues.

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