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miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2016

Johnny 'Hammond' Smith • That Good Feelin'

Review by Stewart Mason
A standards-heavy set from 1959, Johnny "Hammond" Smith's That Good Feelin' is indicative of his early style. Recorded in a simple quartet setting with guitarist Thornel Schwartz (best known for his earlier work with Jimmy Smith), bassist George Tucker, and drummer Leo Stevens, all of whom provide understated but effective support -- Schwartz in particular throws in a few concise and swinging solos in the style of early Wes Montgomery -- these seven tracks are surprisingly close to the cool, cerebral style of pianists like Bill Evans or Lennie Tristano, far afield from the funky, blues-based styles of most jazz organists of the time. Part of that feel comes from the song selection, weighted toward ballads like "Autumn Leaves" (a Bill Evans favorite as well), "I'll Remember April," and the evergreen "My Funny Valentine." Smith's playing is typically excellent, though he throws some unexpected curves like a herky-jerky solo in "I'll Remember April" that sounds more like the futuristic whirrs and bleeps of a '50s science-fiction movie soundtrack than a "Brother" Jack McDuff workout. This is good to great stuff, and a welcome change from the soul-jazz clichés that would overtake organ jazz in the '60s.

Track Listing
1. That Good Feelin’ – 5:36 (Smith)
2. Bye Bye Blackbird – 4:29 (Henderson-Dixon)
3. Autumn Leaves – 4:25 (Kosma-Mercer-Prevert)
4. I’ll Remember April – 4:37 (Raye-DePaul)
5. Billie’s Bounce – 5:32 (Parker)
6. My Funny Valentine – 4:34 (Hart-Rodgers)
7. Puddin’ – 5:13 (Smith)

Johnny “Hammond” Smith – Organ
George Tucker – Bass
Leo Stevens – Drums
Thornel Schwartz – Guitar

Label: New Jazz / Cat #: 8229
Release Date: 1959
Duration: 01:13:22
Genre: Jazz
Hard Bop
Soul Jazz
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 4, 1959

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