There’s something nice about the sound of the Hammond organ. In these enlightened days when we can look back at the fun Toots and the Maytals or Booker T and the MG’s had with it, it feels part of history, but at the time Jimmy Smith cranked it out, it was pretty uncool.
The Incredible Jimmy Smith, as he liked to be called (and hey, who wouldn’t?) was a pretty accomplished jazz guy at this point, and though this was a jump into the unknown for him, it was a pretty confident one. It’s a jazz album with a certain swagger that feels like a portent of exciting genre explosions to come, and while it’s quite gentle, it gets your attention. The original LP didn’t have the final track “The Sunny Side of the Street” so maybe it’s cheating here to talk about how that ends the album with a joyous wink, but even with that extra track on it, it feels way too short.